The Washington Post is reporting that one of the Marines killed last Thursday in Chattanooga may have used his personal handgun to wound the domestic Islamic terrorist who attacked their facility:

The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here Thursday during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center, according to law enforcement officials.

Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics whether the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, M_______ Y______ A_________*, and possibly wounded him, officials said.

The standard-issue pistol for military personnel authorized to carry a sidearm is a variant of the 9mm Beretta 92. According to the Marine unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Mike Abrams, Marines are not authorized to carry personally owned firearms while at the support center.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment.

The shooting has prompted calls to arm military personnel at bases and other facilities, including recruiting centers, in the United States. In the 1990s, the Pentagon restricted who can carry weapons on domestic military facilities, ostensibly to make them safer by allowing only military police to carry weapons in most situations.

Let’s assume for the moment that this claim is credible, and can be substantiated.**

Gunshot residue (or the lack of it) on the hands of the Marine who owned the pistol will show whether or not one he was able to return fire. Cartridge casings recovered from the scene will be able to tell us how many shots that Marine was able to fire, if any.

It may be more difficult to prove whether or not the Marine wounded the terrorist. To be 100% sure, they’ll have to recover bullet fragments the can be definitively linked to that specific pistol to wounds on the terrorist, which may be difficult.

Time will presumably tell.


* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass killers.

** We’re aware that there will be some more conspiratorial folks will claim that the gun was planted, perhaps to take the heat off the Obama Administration’s continued insistence of keeping military bases as “gun free zones” after five mass murders since 2009 that have left 34 dead and 55 wounded by gunfire.  There is no credible evidence for such a claim at this time.