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Suspect in Tennessee National Guard shooting was recruiter

Major General Terry M. "Max" Haston (2nd L), Adjutant General Tennessee National Guard tours the scene of a shooting at the National Guard Armory in Millington, Tennessee October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Justin Shaw

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - A National Guard recruiter suspected of wounding two of his superiors was expected to be turned over to U.S. federal authorities on Friday, the day after the shooting at an armory outside a Navy facility near Memphis, authorities said.

The veteran recruiter for the National Guard is suspected of shooting two supervisors after being called into a meeting on administrative matters, according to two government officials, who asked not to be identified.

Local media reported that the supervisors were meeting with the recruiter to relieve him of his duties.

A Memphis news outlet, WMC-TV, reported that the suspect went to his car in the middle of the meeting and retrieved a computer bag and waist pack that contained a semi-automatic pistol that he used in the shooting.

The wounded men were identified by the National Guard as Major William J. Crawford and Sergeant Major Ricky R. McKenzie. One was shot in the leg and the other in the foot, according to police in Millington, Tennessee, the city where the facility is located.

Millington police took the suspect to the city jail, where he was being held awaiting transfer to a federal facility.

The shooting occurred around midday Thursday inside a National Guard armory near the Naval Support Activity Mid-South facility.

The armory is across the street from the Navy facility, outside the secured area and within the city limits of Millington, about 17 miles north of Memphis.

The Navy facility, which manages personnel records, was locked down as a precaution temporarily, the Navy said.

The incident took place just over a month after a contract worker opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, killing 12 people before being shot dead by police.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Writing by Carey Gillam; Editing by Greg McCune and Lisa Von Ahn)