Official: Navy Won’t Charge Officer Who Used Personal Firearm To Take Down Chattanooga Shooter

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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During the Chattanooga shooting, one Navy officer, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, fired back at the gunman with a personal firearm. The Navy immediately  launched an investigation to determine potential wrongdoing.

But an official with insider knowledge of the investigation just confirmed with Stars and Stripes that White will not be charged with discharging a firearm on federal property, contradicting reports from columnist Allen West, who stated that he had received a text message saying that the Navy planned to charge White, a father of six children.

“Ladies and gents, resulting from the text message I received yesterday, I can confirm that the United States Navy is bringing charges against Lt. Cmdr Timothy White for illegally discharging a firearm on federal property,” West wrote.

Despite the tip to Stars and Stripes, the investigation is officially still ongoing.

At the time, a Navy spokeswoman told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “Right now, the Navy is confirming that nobody has been charged. It is too early in the investigation.”

Current Navy policy states that personnel cannot use firearms for self-defense at these locations, as they constitute gun-free zones.

But when Mohammad Abdulazeez started firing, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White immediately started shooting back based on a report sent around to Navy leadership, according to Navy Times, which led to speculations that White will face charges.

It’s still not clear whether White hit Abdulazeez in the exchange on July 16. Officials are busy working on a ballistics report to figure out an answer.

“He values human life enough to protect his sailors and others,” Franicia White, the Navy officer’s white, said, the Inquisitr reports. “I am honored to be his wife and stand by him 100 percent.”

Members of Congress have since introduced legislation to allow personnel to carry firearms in self-defense, and others like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mac Thornberry were already working on a measure before the shooting took place.

“Long before the Chattanooga attack, we had been working to clarify a post commander’s authority to allow carrying of personal firearms,” McCain and Thornberry said in a joint statement. “This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will reflect that work. Together, we will direct the Pentagon to end the disconnect between the threats our warfighters and their families face and the tools they have to defend themselves.”

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service determined that Defense Secretary Ash Carter has the authority to arm stateside personnel, though military officials like Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno are concerned about accidental discharge and other safety issues. (RELATED: Report Finds Defense Secretary Has Authority To Arm Stateside Troops)

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