Four Dead After Shooting at Fort Hood
Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting today at the Fort Hood Army post. The accused shooter is among the dead, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Just outside of Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood is about an hour north of Austin.
Army officials have not released the identity of the shooter because his next-of-kin has not yet been notified, Lieutenant General Mark Milley said at a news conference Wednesday night. But NPR has confirmed his identity as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez.
"The events of the past have taught us many things at Fort Hood," Milley said. "We will get through this."
Milley says the soldier carried out the shooting with a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol. The shooter was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being cornered by military police, Milley said.
The soldier was in the process of being diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder, Milley said, which can be a lengthy process. However, he was receiving psychiatric treatment for depression, anxiety and "a variety" of other issues. That treatment included medications.
Milley stressed that Fort Hood priority was to "focus on the families of the injured, and focus on the family of the killed … and make sure that they have the best care."
Fort Hood was on lockdown for several hours, with all personnel being told to "shelter in place." The lockdown was lifted shortly before 8 p.m.
Fort Hood officials say injured personnel have been transported to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other area hospitals, primarily Scott & White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, Texas. "Patients we received have injuries to the chest, neck, and extremities," the hospital says in a statement.
The American Red Cross chapter serving the region is offering resources both on and off the base. Nearby Central Texas College instructed all its students to "immediately evacuate" its nearby central campus, and canceled all evening classes.
Update: Nine Patients in Trauma Center Hospital; Three Critical (10:33 p.m.)
The regions's only Level 1 trauma center, the Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas has absorbed several of the Fort Hood casualties. The hospital has issued the following statement:
We have accepted 9 patients, 8 are currently here and 1 will be arriving shortly at Scott & White Memorial Hospital. We currently have 7 male patients and 1 female patient that we continue to monitor. All patients are in the ICU, 3 are critical condition and 5 are in serious condition.
Update: No Terrorism Link Suspected (10:20 p.m.)
In a statement released after this evening's press conference, Fort Hood officials reiterated their belief the shooting was not an act of political terrorism:
In regard to the investigation, there is no indication at this time that this incident is related to terrorism. An investigation by law enforcement is ongoing and no further details are releasable at this time.
Texas Officials Respond (9 p.m.)
Gov. Rick Perry released the following statement:
“Today, Ft. Hood was once again stricken by tragedy. As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn:
“Tonight, Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy. The scenes coming from Ft. Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories. No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice. I ask that all Americans join Sandy and me in praying for the victims, their families and the entire Ft. Hood community.”
Echoes of 2009 Base Shooting (6:55 p.m.)
In 2009, Fort Hood was the site a shooting by Army Major Nidal Hasan that left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. Hasan was sentenced to death for the shootings.
Last July, as Army Major Nidal Hassan's trial for the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood began, KUT prepared a seven-minute report on the day of the shooting and the aftermath that followed:
It’s been more than three years since a gunman walked into a military processing center at Fort Hood – about an hour north of Austin – and began shooting people at point blank range. Thirteen people were killed and more than thirty were wounded. After years of delays, the trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan begins today with jury selection. KUT takes a look back at the events that led to this moment – beginning with the initial attack.