US military recruiter held in superiors' shooting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A U.S. military recruiter shot three fellow soldiers at an armory in Tennessee after he was told he would be relieved of duty because of alleged misconduct, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Friday.

The complaint written by FBI Special Agent Matthew Ross says Amos Patton was ordered to go to the armory Thursday to be told that he was being relieved of duty. The complaint does not detail the nature of the alleged misconduct.

Patton was ordered to return government equipment that was in his vehicle, the complaint said. Patton had a small bag with him when he returned. When Patton tried to reach for it, one Guardsman yelled "gun," the complaint says. Patton then opened fire, hitting three Guardsmen, Ross wrote.

The complaint says Patton ran from the building before another Guardsman caught him and held him until police arrived.

Police and National Guard officials said the gunman shot two of his superiors. They were identified by the National Guard as Maj. William J. Crawford and Sgt. Maj. Ricky R. McKenzie. One was shot in the lower leg and the other in the foot. Both have been treated and released, a hospital official said.

The nature of the third Guardsman's injuries, and his identity, were not immediately clear Friday.

Ross' complaint says Patton committed assaults "within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States" and carried a weapon during a federal crime of violence. Formal charges were expected Friday.

It is not immediately known if Patton has a lawyer. His wife, Brenda, declined comment when contacted Friday.

The armory sits across the street from Naval Support Activity Mid-South. Navy officials ordered a lockdown during the tense minutes after the shooting, lifting it after word came that the gunman was in custody.


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