Maj. Gen. Max Haston, right, Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard, speaks at a news conference near a Guard armory where two Guard members were shot on Thursday in Millington, Tenn. (Adrian Sainz / AP)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — A National Guardsman was being held Friday and awaiting charges in the shooting of two of his superiors at an armory north of Memphis, where he was subdued by fellow soldiers and arrested by local police.
The sergeant first class, whose name was not released, had been disciplined before he opened fire with a handgun Thursday at the armory in Millington, Tennessee, according to a law enforcement official who had been briefed on the case. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The armory, which houses a recruitment office, sits across the street from the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base on land that used to be part of a larger military installation. Navy officials ordered a lockdown there during the tense minutes after the midafternoon shooting, lifting it after word came that the gunman was in custody.
The wounded — a major and a sergeant major who had both served overseas — were expected to be released from a Memphis hospital soon, said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, adjutant general of the Tennessee Guard.
All three of the men were recruiters, and the shooter has been in the Guard about six or seven years, Haston said.
Asked about the discipline the man had faced before the shooting, Haston would only say there were “administrative policies and procedures that we were going through with him.”
The man was being held pending the filing of charges.
Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback said the shooter was apprehended by other National Guard members and he did not have the small handgun used in the shooting in his possession by the time officers arrived. Stanback said one victim was shot in the foot, the other in the leg.
“I’m sure there could have been more injury if they hadn’t taken him into custody,” Stanback said.
There are more than 7,500 military, civilian and contract personnel working on the Navy base, according to its website. The facility is home to human resources operations and serves as headquarters to the Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center.