Four dead,16 hurt in US military base shooting
Houston:04/04/2014: OBB/SC- Abdus Shamim
The gunman, identified as Ivan Lopez (34) opened fire at two locations in Fort Hood —inside a building housing a medical brigade and in a facility belonging to a transportation battalion — prompting authorities to order a lockdown. The suspect, who had served in Iraq, “had behavioural health and mental health” issues, the Army post’s commander Lt General Mark Milley said. He said there was no known motive for the shooting. “There is no indication that this incident is related to terrorism, although we are not ruling anything out,” he said.
Milley said the incident began at the administration building for the medical brigade. The suspect then moved by car to the transport battalion. “He was confronted by a military police officer and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a parking lot,” he said.
Milley said the suspect was carrying a .45 calibre Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol bought recently in the local area and not registered with the base, as is required.
Another US official said the shooter was wearing combat fatigues. The lockdown was lifted at the base about five hours later.Army Secretary John McHugh testified that the soldier appeared to have no connections to extremist groups.
He said Lopez was deployed in Iraq in the final months of the war but did not see combat. Lopez enlisted in the Army in June 2008 as an infantryman and later switched to being a truck driver which was the job he had in Iraq.
US President Barack Obama expressed sorrow that tragedy had once again struck the base. “We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again,” the president said. He promised to “get to the bottom” of the latest incident.
“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,” he said.The suspect, who served in Iraq for four months in 2011, had arrived in Fort Hood only in February, having moved from another installation in Texas.
In 2009, Fort Hood was the scene of the worst mass shooting ever to take place at a military base in the US. It left 13 people dead and more than 30 injured. The gunman, Major Nidal Hasan, a former army psychiatrist, was convicted by a military court and sentenced to death in August last year.