Group To Guard Keene Recruiting Center In Wake Of Chattanooga Shooting
By Meghan Foley and Martha Shanahan Sentinel Staff
A group of armed volunteers plans to guard the Keene armed forces recruitment center this week in the wake of the July 16 shooting at a recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Two U.S. Army veterans stood on the sidewalk this morning outside the West Street building dressed in Army colors of green and tan and holding rifles. Openly carrying a firearm does not require a permit in New Hampshire.
Chris Rietmann of Alstead is a member of the Oath Keepers of New Hampshire, a group of current and former military officers, police, and first responders who pledge to protect the ideas in the U.S. Constitution.
Rietmann said he was there in response to the fatal shooting by Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez of four Marines outside the Chattanooga recruitment center on Thursday. A naval officer wounded in the attack died Saturday, and a Marine recruiter who was shot in the leg and a Chattanooga police officer are recovering from injuries.
Rietmann said he was “sickened and saddened” by the events in Chattanooga, and the loss of five innocent lives.
“We strongly feel that gun-free zones put people lives at risk,” he said.
Keene police Sgt. James Cemorelis said that the recruiters are not permitted to carry weapons.