US President Barack Obama pauses as he makes a statement
about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago.
A U.S. soldier with mental health issues shot dead three
people and injured at least 16 today before taking his own life
at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another deadly
rampage in 2009.
The soldier, who was being treated for depression and
anxiety, went to two buildings on the base and opened fire
before he was confronted by military police, Fort Hood
commanding officer Mark Milley said.
The gunman, whose motive remains unknown, then shot himself
in the head with a .45-caliber pistol, he added.
"At this time there is no indication that this incident is
related to terrorism," Milley told a news conference.
The rampage is the third shooting at a military base in the
United States in about six months. It comes amid a broader
national debate over the extent of gun control regulations
after a series of shootings in public places, such as schools
Security officials said preliminary information identified
the gunman as Ivan Lopez but Milley declined to identify the
shooter, who is married, until his family was notified.
The suspect's wife was cooperating with law enforcement, a
Federal Bureau of Investigation official said, according to
The shooter had served for four months in Iraq in 2011,
Milley said, and was also undergoing evaluation for
post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, where some
of the wounded were taken, said nine patients were in
intensive care, three in critical condition. Other victims
were taken to Fort Hood's Carl R. Darnall Army Medical
Center, nearby where the shooting occurred.
U.S. President Barack Obama said he was "heartbroken" that
another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base.
"We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,"
Obama said. "We're heartbroken that something like this might
have happened again."
The latest shooting at Fort Hood is throwing a spotlight on
the U.S. military's so-far frustrated efforts to secure its
bases from potential shooters, who increasingly appear to see
the facilities as attractive targets.
The shooting started at about 4pm (local time) and put Fort
Hood on immediate lockdown.
Milley said the shooter walked into one of the unit
buildings, opened fire, then got into a vehicle and fired
from there. He then went into another building and opened
fire again, until he was engaged by Fort Hood law
When confronted by a female military police officer, he
killed himself with his semi-automatic weapon in the parking
"He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He put his hands
up, then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (.45) and
she pulled out her weapon and then she engaged, and he then
he put the weapon to his head," Milley said.
One of the buildings housed medical brigade day-to-day
operations and the other, nearby, served the administration
of the transportation battalion. All the killed and wounded
were military personnel.
As soon as the shooting broke out, police secured the base
perimeter, emergency vehicles rushed to the scene,
helicopters circled Fort Hood and officers went from building
to building searching for the shooter.
"We're camping out. ...The only guidance we've been given is
to hunker down," a Fort Hood soldier who answered the phone
at a building near the shooting told the Austin
Central Texas College ordered an immediate evacuation of all
students and staff and canceled classes at its Fort Hood
"It's a terrible tragedy. We know that. We know there are
casualties, both people killed and injured," Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel said.
The violence echoed the rampage of 2009, when a former Army
psychiatrist shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 others in a
shooting spree at Fort Hood, a base from where soldiers
prepare to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Major Nidal Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar," or "God is
greatest" in Arabic, during the attack and later said he
wanted to be a martyr. He was convicted and faces death by
In February, the U.S. military demolished the building where
Hasan went on a shooting spree. It will plant trees, install
a gazebo and mark the site with a remembrance plaque for the
victims, the base said.
In September, a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy
Yard, killing 12 and wounding four before being slain by
police. Last month, a civilian shot dead a sailor aboard a
ship at a U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia.
Hagel, pressed about the military's so-far frustrated effort
to secure its bases from potential shooters, said the latest
incident at Fort Hood showed that there were problems that
still needed to be addressed. The latest tragedy shows
something is not working and needs to be fixed, he said.
Just last month, he ordered steps to improve Pentagon
security after reviews found the Navy Yard shooting could
have been averted if the gunman's mental health had been