[UPDATED] President Obama Wants Answers in 2nd Fort Hood Shooting in 5 Years

Fort HoodAnother shooting has taken place at the Fort Hood Military base, less than five years after Nidal Hasan opened fire and killed 13 people (including a pregnant female soldier) and injured 32 others.

This time the shooting is being reported as a "soldier on soldier" incident, rather than a potential terror attack. Several reports are emerging that it was a lone shooter who took his own life. NBC News is reporting that officials identified 34-year-old Ivan Lopez as the gunman, but would not confirm if he was in uniform, or the alleged suicide.

At least eight have been injured, but conflicting reports mention as many as 14. At least four of those wounded are in "extremely grave" condition, according to U.S. military officials.

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The shooting occured about 4:30 P.M. (5:30 P.M. ET), and the base's emergency alert system went off immediately. Personnel were instructed to "shelter in place."

Nearby residents like Antonio Ortiz, 30, said they were scared for their children, because they heard the alarms but didn't know what was going on. He said he went outside when he heard the commotion, and back in when he heard the announcement to stay inside. He says he heard gunshots as he turned his TV on to find out what was going on.

"It sounded powerful,” he said, adding that while it seemed to be coming from the base, he couldn't rule out the possibility someone in the civilian neighborhood was shooting.

"I’m scared for my son. He’s 7," Ortiz said. "But I do have a 12-gauge pump shotgun."

President Obama addressed the shooting shortly after it happened, saying, "We're heartbroken something like this might have happened again ... we're following it closely. The situation is fluid right now ... I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel echoed the president's sentiments, saying the incident was a "terrible tragedy," and that it's under investigation. "We don't have all the facts yet. We will get those," he said.

I'm hoping they do, because opening fire on the brave men and women that serve our country in uniform is truly deplorable. The soldiers that were injured, or even possibly killed today deserve some answers.

Update 4/3/14 12:37 A.M. ET: The shooter has been confirmed as Spc. Ivan Lopez. He killed three people and wounded 16 others before taking his own life. He was being treated for depression and anxiety, and evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but had not been diagnosed with it yet. He served four months in Iraq in 2011.

 

Image via The U.S. Army/Flickr

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