National & State Leaders React To Deadly Fort Hood Shooting
KILLEEN (CBSDFW.COM) – A shooting at the Army post in Fort Hood has left at least four people dead and 14 others injured. Fort Hood remained on lockdown Wednesday evening.
There are reports that officials with the Justice Department indicated the shooter is dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot.
The President of the United States, state and federal officials have all commented on the situation at Fort Hood.
Speaking from Chicago, where he is participating in a pair of campaign fundraisers to help Democrats in the November mid-term congressional elections, President Barack Obama gave a statement about the Wednesday afternoon shootings.
The President said –
“I just got off the phone with the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sandy Winnefield, 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 in close contact, with not just the Defense of Department but [also] the FBI. They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened – to make sure that everybody is secure. I want to just assure all of us that we are going to get to 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 are with the entire community and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the community of 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. I don’t what to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened. But for now I would hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community of 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 through multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, and they served with distinction. 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 gonna have to find out exactly what happened. The Pentagon will undoubtedly have further briefings as we get more details about what happened.”
Just after 7 pm (CST) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking from the deck of the USS Anchorage in Honolulu, commented on the events in Killeen.
Hagel said, “I just got off the phone with our senior leaders at the Pentagon to get an update. I know there have been a number of reports out in the press… Fort Hood is still locked down.”
Hagel said the Department Of Defense was still “getting facts.” Hagel, who is in Hawaii for a conference with Asian defense ministers, called today’s events, “… a terrible tragedy,” and said the events on the post are still under investigation.
Wednesday evening Governor Rick Perry released the following statement regarding the shooting at Fort Hood:
“Today, Fort 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. The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis released a statement saying –
“Texans are united in deep sorrow at this terrible tragedy. Our prayers are with the families and all those who serve at Fort Hood.”
U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas issued a statement shortly after the Fort Hood shooting that said:
“Tonight, Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy. The scenes coming from Fort Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories. No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice. I ask that all Americans join Sandy and me in praying for the victims, their families and the entire Fort Hood community.”
According to CBS News sources, the April 2 shooter has been identified as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez.
Ford Hood is also the site of a mass murder on November 5, 2009, when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on the post, shooting and killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others.
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