The 24-year-old man who murdered four Marines in a shooting rampage in Chattanooga on Thursday briefly competed on the mixed martial arts circuit.
Video has surfaced of Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez fighting at Chattanooga XFN II on July 18, 2009. According to the website MixedMartialArts.com, Abdulazeez defeated Timmy Hall by TKO in the second of three scheduled rounds.
Abdulazeez was born in Kuwait but lived most of his life in the Chattanooga area. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Dec. 2012 with an engineering degree.
Shortly before noon on Thursday, Abdulazeez opened fire on two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga. It was at the second shooting site that Adbulazeez killed four Marines. A city police officer was wounded. Abdulazeez died as well.
Law enforcement officials have not yet attributed a motive to the massacre, but evidence strongly suggests it was an act of Islamist terrorism. According to SITE, an intelligence website that tracks terrorist activity, Abdulazeez wrote two Islam-themed blog posts on Monday.
“We ask Allah to make us follow their path,” Abdulazeez wrote, according to The Daily Beast. “To give us a complete understanding of the message of Islam, and the strength the live by this knowledge, and to know what role we need to play to establish Islam in the world.”
Notably, Thursday is the last day of the Muslim holy month Ramadan.
Abdulazeez wrestled at Red Bank High School near Chattanooga. He was also an avid boxer. His coach shared an undated photo with the Times Free Press.
Here's an older, undated photo of Abdulazeez, provided by a former coach. Photo likely 5 years old or so pic.twitter.com/cCaFBRel85
— Shelly Bradbury (@ShellyBradbury) July 16, 2015
In his senior year of high school, Abdulazeez provided a quote for the school’s yearbook making a joke about terrorism.
“My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?” reads a caption Abdulazeez wrote.
— Times Free Press (@TimesFreePress) July 16, 2015