“ACTIVE SHOOTER,” Wells wrote to Caroline Dove.
The message was as clear as the all caps type.
But Dove, who knew Wells was working at the Navy Network Operations Support Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., laughed off the message as some sick joke.
“You are so weird,” she replied from her home in Savannah, Ga. The couple hadn’t seen each other since Valentine’s Day.
It was the last time she would hear from the 21-year-old Wells, who along with three other Marines, was shot and killed by Kuwaiti-born gunman Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez in a shooting spree that stretched seven miles and left three others wounded.
Dove reached out again hours later, when she realized the gravity of what actually happened.
“I love you,” she wrote.
“Hon, I need you to answer me please.”
There was no response. Dove, who started dating Wells after they met at Georgia Southern University more than two years ago, only found out Friday that he was one of four victims.
Wells left college to join the military. He wanted to be a drill sergeant and take his place in a proud family tradition.
The young Marine from Marietta, Ga., came from a military family. He was a “happy kid,” who “didn’t let anything bring him down,” said fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Omer Turhan, who trained with Wells in Oklahoma.
“If there was one person smiling, it was him,” Turhan told the Daily News. “When we had to wake up at 3 a.m., he’d still be smiling. No one else would be happy, but he’d still have a huge smile on his face.”
He continued: “He served honorably. He was one of the better ones of us.”
Longtime family friend Theresa Bass, who was helping the family field inquiries, also praised Wells’ attitude.
“He loved what he did. He never met an enemy,” Bass said.