Four people, including the gunman, were confirmed dead and 16 others were confirmed to be injured as of Wednesday night after a shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, the same military base that was the site of a mass shooting in 2009.
In a press conference held just after 10 p.m., Lieutenant General Mark A. Milley, the commanding general at Fort Hood, gave an official statement, including a confirmation that all the injured and deceased were military personnel and that the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Milley said he would not release the gunman’s identity until his next of kin had been notified of his death. An earlier report from the Associated Press said United States Representative Michael McCaul, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, identified the shooter as Ivan Lopez.
While the shooting remains under investigation, Milley said it appears the gunman opened fire in a building using a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun. After those initial shots, the gunman left the building to get into a car and continued to fire his weapon. He then exited the vehicle and attempted to enter another building when military police approached him.
According to Milley’s statement, the gunman initially put his hands up, but then reached under his coat and took out his gun. When the officers engaged him, Milley said the gunman put the weapon to his head and was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The gunman’s motive remains unknown, but Milley said he had been undergoing treatment for depression and anxiety. He was also undergoing an evaluation to determine whether he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving for four months in Iraq in 2011. When asked if the shooting had any ties to terrorist activity, Milley said that it had not been ruled out but there was nothing to suggest that this was a terrorist attack.
When asked about the weapon or weapons used, Milley said that only one gun had been used, that it had been recently purchased in the local area, and that it was not registered with Fort Hood officials.
Milley also said that the gunman had only recently arrived at Fort Hood, which is located between Waco and Austin, Texas and houses about 50,000 people, after being transferred from another base in February. He was married and had a family that lived in the local area.
At the end of his statement, Milley asked that anyone with information on the shooting please contact investigators with the FBI or local police.
Just before 10 p.m., the Associated Press reported that the all-clear sirens at Fort Hood sounded, lifting the lockdown at the military base.
Doctors at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas held a press conference late Wednesday night to update information on some of the victims, saying they had treated eight of them and were expecting the arrival of a ninth. As of 11:30 p.m., three were listed as being in critical condition and the other five were in serious condition but expected to be upgraded to fair overnight. Doctors said they had seen a variety of injuries, from mild to life-threatening.
President Obama, who was at a fundraiser in Chicago, made a statement on the incident. He said he is following the situation closely and that he is “heartbroken that something like this might’ve happened again.”
Wednesday’s shooting comes less than five years after an army psychiatrist went on a rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and injuring 32 more in the worst military base mass shooting on record. The shooter in that incident, 39-year-old Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was convicted by court-martial and sentenced to death in August 2013.