Huge turnout for 3rd annual Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan 5K

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan was killed in Tennessee shooting. (Nathan's Bill Bar Facebook)

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan is one of five American servicemen who died after a shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Sullivan grew up on Gillette Circle in Springfield and is being fondly remembered by the East Forest Park community.

"He was definitely a hero, for sure. He really was," said Chris Donovan from Springfield.

Neighbors and friends are grieving the loss of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan.

"When they go into the military, there's always that chance that they're not going to come home," said Betsy from Springfield. "The way this happened is not good."

Sullivan is being remembered by all as a fun-loving, outgoing, and caring individual, who always aspired to protect his country. He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1994 and went on to serve in Iraq earning him two purple hearts.

"Obviously, this was an awful shock for everybody," said Betsy.

According to our media partners Masslive, Sullivan was a "hero right to the end." Marine Sgt. Amanda Vincent sent the Sullivan family a message, re-telling what happened in Tennessee a few days ago.

The note reads in part, "The only thing on his mind was if his marines were OK. He had a chance to jump the fence and run, but instead he ran back to make sure I and the others inside and the marines that were shot were OK."

According to Vincent, this is when Sullivan was shot.

"That doesn't surprise me that he died helping other people," said Donovan.

The family is requesting privacy during this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements for Thomas Sullivan have yet to be announced.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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