Two women, who were nearby the Naval Recruitment Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee when a shooter opened fire, said they heard several "pops" at first.
One woman, an employee at a salon, told CNN that she went to the front door when she heard the shots and saw someone in a "silver convertible Mustang" who was "unloading some type of large rifle."
"Once we realized what was going on, we were like 'call 911 and get to the back of the building,'" she said. "I mean, that was the only thing that we thought of and just right now we're just thanking God that we're safe, that all of us are safe, that it could have been us at any moment so we're just thankful right now."
Another woman, who was parked outside the salon and waiting for her appointment, said that when the shooting began, she saw her hairdresser come to the door. She said she tried to wave her and other onlookers back into the building before she drove off to around the back of the salon as the shooter had allegedly seen her.
"It was one shot and then it was just endless shots, one after another, just unloading into the army," she told CNN Thursday afternoon.
Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that "lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country," but did not say how many had died.