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Body of local Marine killed in Tenn. taken to Delaware base

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, 40, survived two tours of duty in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart.Facebook

The bodies of four Marines killed last week in Chattanooga, Tenn., including Thomas Sullivan, 40, of Springfield, have been transported to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, in accordance with standard military procedure, a Marine official said Sunday.

The Marines were killed Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military sites. The gunman, identified by authorities as Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, of Hixson, Tenn., also shot a Navy petty officer, who died Saturday.

Sullivan survived two tours in Iraq and was awarded two Purple Hearts, friends said. The gunnery sergeant’s fellow Marines described him as a funny, empathetic leader, known for his habit of checking in with junior Marines to make sure they were handling the stress of combat.

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Sullivan’s family, who live in Hampden, could not be reached for comment Sunday.

The three other Marines were identified as Staff Sergeant David A. Wyatt of Burke, N.C.; Sergeant Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wis.; and Lance Corporal Squire K. ‘‘Skip’’ Wells of Cobb County, Ga. The Navy fatality was identified as Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith, 26, of Paulding, Ohio.

Abdulazeez was shot and killed by police.

The military facility in Dover, Del., is home to the Armed Forces medical examiner system and the Mortuary Affairs Operations. Marine Major Clark Carpenter said the bodies eventually will be transported from the Dover military facility to their final resting places, as chosen by the families.

Navy officials could not be reached Sunday for comment. The location of the slain sailor’s body is unknown.

Burial arrangements will not be released by the military, the official said.


Astead W. Herndon can be reached at astead.herndon@globe.com.