Daily Dispatches
Family members wait outside the gates of Fort Hood as they attempt to contact soldiers stationed at the Texas Army base.
Associated Press/Photo by Tamir Kalifa
Family members wait outside the gates of Fort Hood as they attempt to contact soldiers stationed at the Texas Army base.

Fort Hood rocked again by shooting

Shooting | Officials say four are dead, including the shooter, and 16 injured

UPDATE (11:05 p.m.): The commanding officer of the Army's 3rd Corps at Fort Hood confirmed at a press conference Wednesday night that the shooter was a male soldier who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after killing three other military personnel with a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol that had been purchased recently.

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said there was no indication the shooting was related to terrorism, but he was not ruling anything out in the investigation. Milley would not identify the shooter by name but said the soldier had served in Iraq and suffered from mental health issues, including a potential diagnosis of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

The number of those injured increased to 16, all of which, according to Milley, were military personnel.

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OUR EARLIER REPORT: A gunman opened fire at the Fort Hood Army base in Killeen, Texas, late Wednesday afternoon in an attack that, according to law enforcement officials, left four dead, including the shooter.

Wednesday’s shooting comes only four years and five months after Nidal Hasan opened fire on the base, killing 13 and wounding 30, the deadliest attack ever on a domestic military installation.

Law enforcement officials, citing official internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were injured Wednesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.

A U.S. law enforcement official said Justice Department reports indicated that the shooter died of what appears to be a self-inflicted wound. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

Injured people were being treated at the post’s Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals.

Outside the base, family members of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.

Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.

“The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt,” she said. “I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband.”

A lockdown on the base was lifted just before 9 p.m. CDT.

In Chicago at a fundraising event, President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of the shooting.

“We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again,” Obama said. “And I don't want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but 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.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement, saying, “As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. Fort Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again. Texas will support those efforts in any way we can, with any resources necessary.”

After the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide.

Asked Wednesday about these security improvements in light of Wednesday’s shooting, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, “Obviously when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something’s not working.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mickey McLean
Mickey McLean

Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, teenage daughter, and a dog/administrative assistant named Daisy.

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