WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 – There has been a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas military base, the site of the 2009 tragedy that left 13 persons dead and 32 wounded. Today’s event has left multiple fatalities, some reports are saying four persons, including the gunman, have been killed. Multiple fatalities, at least six, are also being reported. Two persons are being rushed to the hospital for critical surgery.
Condition of the wounded are stable to quite critical according to Dr. Glen Couchman at White Memorial Hospital.
The shooting around 4:30 pm this afternoon was at the worst possible time, according to Major General Spyder Marks appearing on CNN who stated that this is an active time on the base as days are coming to a close and moving about on their way home and about the base.
President Obama has issued a statement to the press saying that he is heartbroken and closely monitoring the situation at Ft. Hood.
“Any shooting is troubling and this opens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago.”
Very early reports are that the shoot is Army specialist Ivan Lopez (34-years-old) who worked as a truck driver on the base was wearing combat fatigues at the time of the shooting. It is reported he died from a self inflicted gun wound. Whether Lopez was the one gunman or not is not known and the base remains shut down.
The shooting is being categorized as “soldier-on-soldier” and not an act of terrorism.
(10:55 pm Eastern Update) Lt. General Mark A. Milley, Commanding Office Ft. Hood held a press conference this evening revealing that:
Within 15 minutes of engagement, first responders from local law enforcement, military police and emergency service engaged the shooter who is now dead from a self inflicted wound. The shooter was engaged in the parking lot by a (female) member of the US Army Military Police.
The spokesperson was very clear that this incident does not seem to be related to terrorism nothing is being ruled out at this time. The military is looking at social media and other computer records.
The General confirmed three victims and the shooter killed and 16 others as injured and being treated.
Our focus is on the families of the injured and killed, and that they have the best care and counseling available. Events in the past have taught us many things. The community is strong. The community is resilient. And we will get through this.
The shooter does leave behind a wife and children.
The shooter did have behavior and mental health issues, suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq where he served 4 months during 2011.
He was currently under diagnosis for PTSD but had not been diagnosed, as well as other psychiatric issues that he was on medication for.
He was using a 45 calibur Smith and Wesson semi automatic pistol purchased recently and locally. The shooter arrived at Fort Hood in February from another installation.
This shooting follows the tragedies of the Washington Navy Yard shooting (9/16/2013) in which Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people, injuring three others at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) in Southeast DC. In 2009, the deadliest mass murder on a US Military Base was an act of terrorism, though never classified as terrorism, acted by US Army major Nidal Mali Hasan who is now on death row for the violence.
In Iraq, on May 11, 2009, Army Sgt.. John M. Russell shot and killed five persons at Camp Liberty, Iraq: U.S. Army Specialist Jacob D. Barton, Sergeant Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, Major Matthew P. Houseal, Private First Class Michael E. Yates, and U.S. Navy Commander Charles K. Springle.
In light of these tragedies, persons watching this story are starting to ask about the safety of soldiers and the armed forces handling of stress related issues our soldiers may have.
Communities sympathies go to the families of all the soldiers, their friends, and colleagues in all these tragedies.