By Jueseppi B.
Military families shouldn’t have to fear for their lives here at home — especially on a major U.S. Army base. But just yesterday, another horrific mass shooting rocked the community of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
This is the second mass shooting at Fort Hood in five years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community and with the families of those who were killed and wounded.
In the days ahead, we’ll learn the details of this tragedy. But right now, the most powerful thing we can do is come together in support of the families and hold them in our thoughts and prayers.
This is a devastating moment for Fort Hood, filled with sorrow and confusion. A simple message of kindness and support can be especially powerful at a time like this.
Let the families of Fort Hood know they are in your heart:
Thank you for standing with the those affected by gun violence.
STAND WITH FORT HOOD
Please share your personal message of condolence with the survivors and family members of victims of the shooting — and we’ll deliver them to the families of Fort Hood.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected
by the shooting at Fort Hood.”
My condolences go to you and your family during this difficult time. Please accept my best wishes for healing, peace and recovery as you cope with this horrific tragedy.
The President Delivers A Statement About The Shooting At Fort Hood: Four Dead, 14 Injured At Ft. Hood, Texas.
The President Delivers a Statement About the Shooting at Fort Hood
08:43 PM EDT
Tonight, the President delivered remarks about the ongoing situation in Fort Hood.
Obama: We will get to the bottom of Fort Hood shooting
Published on Apr 2, 2014
President Obama gives a statement on the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.
Remarks by the President on the Shooting at Fort Hood
Chicago Cut Steakhouse Chicago, Illinois
6:46 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. I just got off the phone with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffSandy Winnefeld to get the latest report on the situation in Fort Hood. Obviously we’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now. But my national security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI. They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make sure that everybody is secure. And I want to just assure all of us that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families. We know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make. Obviously our thoughts and prayers were — are with the entire community. And we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the community at Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with the current situation, but also any potential aftermath.
We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. 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. 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.
The Pentagon will undoubtedly have further briefings for you as we get more details [about what happened.]
From The Associated Press:
Fort Hood shooter identified as Ivan Lopez
The shooter, identified as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, theJustice Department said.
Six of the victims were transported to Scott & White Hospital with gunshot wounds. “Their conditions range from quite stable to quite critically injured,” Glen Couchman, Scott & White’s chief medical officer, said. Couchman said the hospital was not currently in need of blood donations from individuals.
Emergency crews, FBI and SWAT teams were called in to the base following the shooting, which occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. at a medical support building on the sprawling base. Soldiers and area residents were ordered to shelter in place as police pursued reports of a possible second shooter. The lockdown was lifted several hours later.
A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as Ivan Lopez.
Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said Wednesday that four people were killed including the shooter and 16 others were wounded in the attack.
Milley says there is no indication the shooting was related to terrorism.
He also told the media the shooter was a soldier who served in Iraq 2011 and was undergoing a diagnosis of PTSD. He says the shooter is married.
Miley said the shooter fired shots within the first medical brigade area and Batallion area. He opened fire at one location, drove to another location, and opened fire there too.
Military police responded and engaged him in a parking lot.
“Our focus now is to focus on the families of the injured and killed,” said Miley.
All-clear sirens have sounded at Fort Hood as the lockdown was lifted hours after a deadly shooting at the Texas Army post.
Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, including children who had been kept in locked-down schools.
A U.S. law enforcement official said reports circulating within the Justice Department indicate 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.
The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to “quite critical.”
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.
The Army said on its official Twitter feed that the post was still on lockdown. Injured people were being treated at the post’s Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals.
Hours after the shooting, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.
Meanwhile, relatives 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. 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,” DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he couldn’t even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still doesn’t know how close the incident was to her husband.
“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
In Chicago, President Barack Obama vowed that investigators will get to the bottom of the shooting, 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 attack.
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.”
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.
The November 2009 attack at Fort Hood happened inside a crowded building where soldiers were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or while preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in that mass shooting.
According to testimony during Hasan’s trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted “Allah 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 13 people dead, including the gunman. After that shooting, Defense Secretary Chuck 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.
Asked Wednesday about security improvements in the wake of other shootings at U.S. military bases, Hagel said, “Obviously when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something’s not working.”