Fort Hood Shooting Rampage Leaves 4 Dead, 16 Injured
This breaking news story has been updated.
Another soldier-shooter has opened fired at Fort Hood, Texas, leaving four people dead — three victims and the assailant, a soldier — and injuring 16 others.
“The shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, Fort Hood’s commanding officer. Milley, speakng late Wednesday, said the deceased suspect walked into one building, opened fire, left that building and got into vehicle, drove to another building, entered and opened fire again. There he was engaged by law enforcement, pulled out a .45-caliber pistol “and then he put the weapon to his head” and shot himself, Milley said. He would not identify the suspect’s name or rank until the suspect’s family was notified of his death. Officials said all of the victims were Army personnel.
The suspect was being diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder but had not yet received a diagnosis. “We do know that this soldier has behavior health and mental health issues,” Milley said. The suspect was being treated for depression and anxiety and taking medications, he said. He also served four months in Iraq in 2011. Milley said there are reports that he claimed to have sustained head trauma there but “he was not a wounded warrior.” Officials do not suspect terrorism as a motive, but said they are not ruling anything out as a deeper invesgtation into the shooter’s life just gets underway.
Officials at Scott & White Memorial Hospital said that seven patients had been treated there for gunshots wounds to their extremities, abdomen, chest and neck — the same facility that treated many victims of the 2009 massacre in which Army Maj. Nidal Hasan that killed 13 people.
“Obviously, we’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now,” said President Barack Obama, who was at a Chicago fundraiser when told of the shooting. “But my national security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI. They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make sure that everybody is secure. And I want to just assure all of us that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is in Hawaii, called the shooting “a terrible tragedy. We don’t have all the facts yet.” In a statement later released by the Defense Department, Hagel thanked first responders and offered his sympathy to “this strong and resilient community, which has experienced this kind of senseless violence all too recently. There is nothing more important to us as an institution than the safety and well-being of our people.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, in a statement, said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Hood community in the aftermath of this tragedy. Many questions remain and our focus is on supporting the victims and their families… This is a community that has faced and overcome crises with resilience and strength.”