(WMC-TV) - A Tennessee National Guard employee remains in custody after reportedly shooting his commanding officers at the National Guard Armory in Millington Thursday.
FBI officials searched the Cordova home of the suspected National Guard Armory shooter later in the evening. Neighbors say the home belongs to Sergeant First Class Amos Patton.
Patton served as a recruiter for the Army National Guard for 14 years. Before the shooting, Patton's bosses had come to town to talk with him about administrative policies and procedures and to relieve him from duty because of "misconduct."
According to the FBI, Patton went to his car in the midst of his meeting and retrieved government-issued gear to return it. When he came back to the meeting he had a fanny pack, which he previously did not have.
An Action News 5 reliable source says he took a semi-automatic 380 pistol out. The guardsmen shouted "gun." Our source says Patton emptied his weapon and fired seven to 10 shots at his commanding officers. The officers jumped on Patton and wrestled him while managing to keep the gun down.
The gun fired at Maj. Jeff Crawford striking him in the thigh; he has an entrance and exit wound. A bullet hit Sgt. Maj. Ricky R. McKenzie in the foot. Lt. Col Hunter was grazed by a bullet right below the knee, according to the National Guard. All victims were sent to the Regional Medical Center (The MED) to be treated for their injuries, but they have since been released.
Patton was "taken down" by a fellow guardsman after he emptied his weapon and attempted to run.
"I want to send out my sincere concern to the families of the two soldiers, guardsmen, that we had injured," said Major General Max Haston, Tennessee National Guard. "We hope that the two victims will soon be recovered and soon be back to work."
Major General Haston added that the two people who were shot were seasoned recruiters, headquartered out of Jackson, Tennessee.
According to Haston, one of the victims served in Iraq in 2005. He believes the other may have served in Afghanistan.
"I know both of the individuals who was injured, I know that the Major and I were in Iraq together in 2005," he explained.
Maj. Gen. Haston said that everyone on the scene at the time of the shooting responded according to protocol. The shooting happened at the National Guard Armory, which is the non-secured part of the base but is still on navy property.
"I'm sure there could have been more injury if they hadn't taken him in custody or gotten him restrained," said Millington police chief Stanback.
Police responded in a matter of seconds after a call was received around 12:45 p.m.
"The community here responded outstanding," he said. "It amazed me. They told me the timeliness of the response. The citizens in the community here should be very proud of that."
Despite the response, Haston admitted that it scares him to death that something like this can happen.
"It concerns me today what's happened all over the world, Washington D.C., that Washington Naval Yard, you never think something like this will happen on your watch, in good ol' Tennessee here," he said. "But it did happen."
Officials temporarily enforced a lockdown at the Millington Navy base as well as Millington Elementary and a golf course, which are both nearby the Naval Support Activity Mid-South installation.
Police say Patton did not speak and seemed to be in a daze while he was transported to the Millington jail, where he was questioned by the FBI.
Neighbors in Patton's Cordova community say they are shocked.
"He was very nice. Introduced himself. Asked if we ever needed anything. Came over. Wife the same thing," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.