A soldier opened fire on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.
The soldier, who was being treated for mental health problems, drove to two buildings on the base and opened fire before he was stopped by military police, in an incident that lasted between 15 and 20 minutes, Fort Hood commanding officer Mark Milley said. .
Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait for permission to re-enter the Fort Hood military base, where they live, following a shooting. (AP)
The gunman then shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber pistol, Milley added.
Security officials said preliminary information identified the gunman as Ivan Lopez, and the shooting was not linked to terrorism. (AP)
Milley declined to identify the shooter until his family was notified. All the wounded and killed were military personnel. (AP)
U.S. President Barack Obama said he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. "We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," Obama told reporters in Chicago, where he is traveling for Democratic fundraisers. "We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again." (Reuters)
The shooting, the third such incident at a military base in the United States in about six months, started at 4:30 p.m. local time (2130 GMT) and put Fort Hood on immediate lockdown.
Police secured its perimeter, emergency vehicles rushed to the scene and helicopters circled the base as officers went from building to building searching for the shooter. A base announcement told people to lock their windows and doors, while scores of police cars and ambulances arrived at the scene, TV images showed. (AP)
"I'm safe. I'm locked down. I'm not allowed to use my cell phone. I'm going to be here a long time, I can tell you that," said one base officer who asked not to be named. (AP)
Two more were arriving soon, hospital officials told a news conference. "It's a terrible tragedy. We know that. We know there are casualties, both people killed and injured," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a news conference in Honolulu, where he was meeting with Asian defense ministers.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks about the shooting at Fort Hood during a news conference. (AP)
Central Texas College, which has a Fort Hood campus, ordered an immediate evacuation of all students and staff, and canceled classes. The Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas, said it had received four patients, ranging from critical condition to stable with single and multiple gunshot wounds. (AP)
The violence echoed the rampage of 2009, when a former Army psychiatrist shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 others in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, a base from where soldiers prepare to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP)