Chattanooga Shooting
FBI agents worked the scene at an Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. Four Marines were killed Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices before he was fatally shot. Reuters/Tami Chappell

The tight-knit Chattanooga, Tennessee, community rallied together Friday morning at various vigils to mourn and pray for the four U.S. Marines who were killed during a shooting rampage there a day earlier. Students and other community members of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga held a vigil on campus, becoming one of several sites where community members gathered to honor the lives loss.

The 24-year-old gunman, Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez, was a UT-Chattanooga graduate, who went on a shooting rampage at around 10:45 a.m. that lasted for about 30 minutes before he was killed, Reuters reported. The university confirmed Thursday that Abdulazeez was a member of the 2012 class and studied engineering.

The vigil was organized by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Student Veterans Organization, where members of the group and the university chancellor addressed the crowd. Following the vigil, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam ordered flags lowered to half-staff.

Vigils began Thursday night all over the city and were expected to continue Friday and through the weekend. Hundreds gathered at the Redemption Point Church on Thursday night just hours after the shooting. “Our hearts and our prayers are with the families of the slain soldiers who lost their lives because of a senseless act of evil,” Pastor Kevin Wallace said, according to WHNT.

Others gathered in more informal ways, showing their support for the slain Marines by visiting the military recruitment offices where they were killed. Among them was 36-year-old Jeremy Bryson who returned to the site of the shooting to post signs, flags and other items, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Anyone in uniform is your family,” Bryson, an Army veteran, said. “I’ve been out here since about 5:30 [p.m.], I just wanted to come up here and hold the flag and show people we’re not going to let this hold us down.”

A cultural center in Chattanooga has scheduled a prayer vigil open to the public at 5:30 p.m. Friday. “In light of the tragic shooting that took place in our city, let’s unite as a community in an act of solidarity and compassion and pray for our community,” Dionne Jennings, president of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, said, Atlanta's WAGA-TV reported.

Rumors that leaders of the attacker’s local mosque attended the vigil at the university were not immediately confirmed.