“We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.”
Those were President Obama’s words Wednesday night in a brief address about the mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas that killed four people, the gunman included, and wounded 16 others. All of those in the crossfire are military according to official reports.
The injured are being treated at local hospitals and their conditions range from critical to serious.
Fort Hood was the scene of another mass shooting in 2009, carried out by army major Nidal Hassan, an al Qaeda sympathizer and self-styled jihadist who killed 14 people in his attack.
Terrorism is not suspected in Wednesday’s shooting.
The incident, which began at around 4:30p.m. Texas local time, is said by some reports to have been triggered by an argument between two soldiers, one of whom the Pentagon has named as the shooter, 34-year-old specialist Ivan Lopez.
This wasn’t an isolated act of violence aimed at a single target, and whatever led to the initial confrontation, Lopez did not stop after he began killing until he was confronted by authorities. He drove away from the building where he shot his first victims and fired at more people from his car. He then entered and began shooting into a second building, according to the account given by Fort Hood’s commander, Lieutenant General Mark A. Milley, at a press conference Wednesday night.
First responders reached the scene within 15 minutes after the first shots were fired ac-cording to General Milley. A military police officer confronted Lopez and drew her weapon. It’s unclear whether or not they exchanged fire, but Lopez then used his gun to kill himself.
"It was clearly heroic what she did at that moment in time," General Milley said of the military police officer who faced off with Lopez before he died.
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