Marine from Springfield killed in Tennessee shooting



( -- One of the four marines killed during the shooting rampage in Tennessee was a Massachusetts native.

FOX25 has learned his name is Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan. He was 40-years-old and FOX25 has been told that he used to work as a recruiter at the Seaport location in Boston.

<< READ MORE: 4 Marines, gunman dead, multiple injured at Chattanooga, TN military facilities >>

Sullivan was a Springfield native and while Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff at government buildings on Friday, neighbors in the Springfield area lowered the flags at their homes, too.

The marine's family gathered at his parents' home in nearby Hampden on Friday. They asked for privacy.

But Sgt. Sullivan's brother, Joe Sullivan, proudly hung a huge American flag on the front of his Springfield bar and restaurant, Nathan Bill's.

A message on the Facebook page for the business read: "He was our hero and he will never be forgotten. Please keep his family & friends in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you Tommy for protecting us."

Sullivan had served two tours in Iraq and was a Purple Heart recipient. His high school teacher said Friday that she wasn't surprised he became a Marine.

"He really loved the country. He  loved to serve," said Lynn Leone, Sullivan's history and government teacher at Cathedral High School in Springfield. "He was always willing to step up and help out a fellow student."

Sullivan was always engaged and quick to argue his point in class, said Leone, who was devastated to learn on Friday that her former student had been killed.

"When I first heard it at lunch time, I couldn't believe it," Leone said. "It's like losing a member of your family. Very, very sad."

Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth, who knows the Sullivan family, said the small town is taking the news hard. 

"Anytime you hear anything about our service members killed, especially on our own soil, it's astounding," Farnsworth said.