FORT HOOD, Texas (April 3, 2014)– Four people are dead including the gunman who opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas Wednesday.
Initial reports indicate the incident started as a soldier-on-soldier attack. The preliminary assessment is that the incident is not terror-related, officials said.
The shooter has been identified as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez who investigators say started firing his .45 caliber handgun near two different buildings, killing three people, injuring 16 others and then turning the gun on himself.
Three of the injured remained in critical condition early Thursday morning.
During the shooting, Lopez was wearing combat fatigues, according to a U.S. official briefed on the shooting.
“The exact sequence of events and timeline of events are not 100 percent clear. It is believed that he walked into one of the unit buildings opened fire, got into a vehicle, fired from a vehicle, got out of the vehicle, walked into another building fired again, and then was engaged by local law enforcement here at Fort Hood,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley.
Lopez had been at the army post since February. The 34-year-old was married with a child. He served four months in Iraq in 2011. Officials said he was currently undergoing evaluation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental and behavioral health issues.
President Barack Obama was briefed Wednesday evening and said, “We’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again.”
“I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” the President said.
He was referring to the November 2009 massacre when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and injuring 32.
He shot fellow soldiers at the processing center. Prosecutors maintained that the American-born Muslim underwent a progressive radicalization that led to the massacre.
Hasan allegedly picked that day because it was when the units he was scheduled to deploy with to Afghanistan were scheduled to go through the processing center.
The former Army psychiatrist was convicted of premeditated murder, and a military jury recommended that Hasan be put to death.
Wednesday’s shooting reminded many in the central Texas community of that incident.
“Today, Ft. Hood was once again stricken by tragedy. As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. Ft. Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again. Texas will support those efforts in any way we can, with any resources necessary,” said Gov. Rick Perry.
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