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article imageU.S. Army updates on latest fatal shooting at Fort Hood

By Robert Myles     Apr 3, 2014 in World
Killeen - Following shootings at Fort Hood on Apr. 2, which left four dead, the U.S. Army issued a series of updates on what took place at the Texas army base. It was the second time in less than five years Fort Hood had been the scene of multiple killings.
The U.S. Army made a brief announcement on yesterday’s shooting shortly after 5.30 p.m. local time April 2. It confirmed a shooting had taken place, with injuries reported. Although emergency crews were on the scene, details were scant.
Then at 6.29 p.m., Fort Hood issued a further update. Fort Hood's Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) said reports were the shooter was dead, but confirmation was awaited.
The Directorate went on to say injured personnel were being moved to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals. A number of local law enforcement agencies were at the scene in support of army authorities. By this time, Fort Hood was in lock-down.
Later just after 10 p.m. local time came confirmation from DES officials that a soldier assigned to 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) had fired shots at individuals in the 1st Medical Brigade area of Fort Hood.
Army sources said emergency services were at the scene within 15 minutes of the shooting. Injured service personnel were transported to local hospitals but the announcement confirmed the alleged gunman had died of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.
An investigation by law enforcement agencies was, by this time, ongoing but the Army said that, as a result, no further details of the incident would be released for the time being. The army source did however state that there was no indication, at least for the moment, that the shooting was terrorist related.
On fatalities, the Army reported medical officials had confirmed four dead, including the shooter, as well as 16 injured.
Details of the fatal shooting continued to be the subject of investigation and more information would be released at the appropriate time.
The U.S. Army, via its Twitter account, posted, “Our thoughts are with the Fort Hood community. As details about today's shooting are available, they will be posted at http://www.forthoodpresscenter.com.”
Notification to families of deceased personnel was currently ongoing. The names of those killed at Fort Hood won’t be released until 24 hours after next-of-kin have been informed.
The Army set up hotline numbers for concerned families to call: the Family Assistance Center Hotline at (254) 288-7570 or (866) 836-2751.
Later President Obama issued a statement on the latest shooting at Fort Hood. The President said he didn’t want to comment in detail until the facts concerning yesterday’s shooting were known but said, “For now, I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers.”
President Obama’s statement continued, “The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe. We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. And we're going to have to find out exactly what happened.”
Speaking to reporters at Fort Hood late Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, Fort Hood’s commanding officer, said, “The shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Lt. Gen. Milley described how 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. At that stage, when the shooter was engaged by law enforcement, he'd pulled out a .45-caliber pistol, put the weapon to his head and shot himself.
Providing background, Milley said 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, adding that the suspect was receiving treatment for depression and anxiety. The suspect had served four months in Iraq in 2011. But Milley said that although there are reports that the suspect claimed to have sustained head trauma there, “he was not a wounded warrior.”
Yesterday’s shooting at Fort Hood is the second major incident at the same Army base in less than four years. On Nov.5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in what was the worst ever multiple shooting at a U.S. military base.
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