PAULDING COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) One of the victims of the mass shooting at two Chattanooga, Tennessee military centers has died. That brings the total number of people killed to six, including the gunman. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith was originally from Paulding, Ohio.
Darlene Proxmire, the step-grandmother of Randall Smith, called NewsChannel 15 Saturday morning and said he passed away earlier that morning. She said she woke up to a voicemail telling her the bad news.
“Turned on my computer and there it was so I immediately called down there and talked to our son,” Proxmire said.
Smith was shot three times while at the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga Thursday. Smith was serving in the Navy as a logistics specialist. Proxmire said Smith had extensive damage to his liver and colon from the shooting. He had a few surgeries at a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries early Saturday morning.
Now, the community is grieving.
“Sad. I knew his dad real well,” Greg Reinhart said.
Reinhart was Smith’s little league baseball coach for several years. He said Smith was a stand-out baseball player at Paulding High School where he pitched and played short stop. Smith went on to play at the collegiate level.
“Randall was a loving kid,” Reinhart said. “Full of fun. Loved his wife and kids, loved his family and loved his community.”
Now, Reinhart is left trying to understand why and how Smith lost his life.
“How it could be when he was in the Navy and he was in Tennessee,” Reinhart said. “It concerned me because my daughter just joined the Navy also.”
Bob Feehan lived a few houses down from Smith’s family.
“He was like every other kids. He loved to play sports,” Feehan said.
Feehan said he heard the news from his son, Smith’s good friend who was also in Tennessee.
“He was working in Tennessee about a half hour from where this happened when it happened,” Feehan said. “He just got home early this morning and told me he passed away.”
It’s news Feehan never wanted to hear about one of Paulding’s own.
“It’s kind of hard to talk about because I knew him so well. I’m just kind of at a loss for words right now,” Feehan said.
Proxmire said she can not release any information about funeral arrangements for Smith at this time.
The Navy’s website reports an unnamed male Navy Petty Officer died from wounds he got during Thursday’s shooting at the Navy Operations Support Center at 2:17 a.m. The Navy has not released his identity at this time.Photo gallery | Marines killed in Tennessee shootings
On Friday, the Navy identified the four Marines who were killed in Thursday’s attack:
Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, North Carolina
Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk County, Wisconsin
Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, of Hampden, Massachusetts
Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells of Cobb County, Georgia
The gunman has been identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, of Hixson, Tennessee. Federal authorites have not yet determined a motive for the shooting. The FBI is investigating.