REPORT: Ford Hood reports shooting, injuries reported
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP/WJLA) - Law enforcement officials say four people have been killed in the Fort Hood shooting, including the gunman. Fourteen are still reported to be injured.
A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as another soldier, army specialist Ivan Lopez. He reportedly opened fire while in uniform. Lockdown has since been lifted.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Wednesday's shooting happened at a medical center at the base.
The details about the number of people hurt came from a senior U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the information publicly.
The ominous warning to “seek shelter immediately” went out at about 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
Matthew Lausch is the Chief of the Manassas Volunteer Fire Department, and is now on assignment with his company to help build a new hospital at the base. He spoke to us while on lockdown:
"We're in a job site construction trailer...staying away from windows and turning off any air or heating systems," he said. "Initially, it was one of those situations where you don't want to believe it's happening -- especially again here at Fort Hood."
The Texas Army base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in history.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in the Nov. 5, 2009, attack on his fellow soldiers as they waited inside a crowded building at Fort Hood. Soldiers there were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or while preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to testimony during Hasan's trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" - Arabic for "God is great!" - and opened fire with a handgun.
Witnesses said he targeted soldiers as he walked through the building, leaving pools of blood, spent casings and dying soldiers on the floor. Photos of the scene were shown to the 13 officers on the military jury.
The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by Fort Hood police officers outside the building, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan is now on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training, and strengthening ties to local law enforcement, according to Peter Daly, a vice admiral who retired from the Navy in 2011. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.
In September, a former Navy man opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, leaving at least 13 people dead, including the gunman. After that shooting, Hagel ordered the Pentagon to review security at all U.S. defense installations worldwide and examine the granting of security clearances that allow access to them.
President Barack Obama vowed that investigators will get to the bottom of a shooting incident Wednesday at Fort Hood, Texas, seeking to reassure the nation whose sense of security once again has been shaken by mass violence.
In a hastily arranged statement, Obama said he and his team were following the situation closely but that details about what happened at the sprawling Army post were still fluid. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009, when 13 were killed at the same post in the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in history.
"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again," Obama said.
Offering thoughts and prayers to the entire Texas community, Obama pledged to do everything possible to ensure Fort Hood had everything it needed to weather a difficult situation and its aftermath. Standing in front of a black curtain, with an American flag nearby, Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made - including during multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they're at their home base, they need to feel safe," Obama said. "We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again."
Obama's comments came as U.S. officials said one person was dead and 14 wounded at the Army base. Fort Hood's Directorate of Emergency Services had an initial report that the shooter was dead, but that the report was unconfirmed.
"Any shooting is trouble," Obama said.
The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.
Obama traveled earlier Wednesday to Michigan for an economic event before heading to Chicago. He planned to return to Washington on the White House evening.