A soldier opened fire on his fellow servicemen Wednesday at Fort Hood in Texas, killing three people and wounding 16 others before taking his own life.
The gunman, identified as Spc. Ivan Lopez, was armed with a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson. Lopez served in Iraq in 2011 and was experiencing “mental health issues,” Army Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said at a late night press conference Wednesday, Fox News reported.
Milley said the motive behind the shooting is unknown and that Lopez had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder. He also said there was no indication of terrorism, but added “we’re not ruling anything out.”
The military base was the scene of another tragic mass shooting just four years ago, when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, shouting “Allahu akbar,” killed 13 people and injured more than 30 others.
Wednesday’s shooting took place in two different buildings at the base, with Lopez killing himself after being confronted by military police in a parking lot, according to Fox News.
“A military police officer responded, and he was approaching her at about 20 feet,” Willey said. “[Lopez] put his hands up and then reached under his jacket, pulled out the [gun], and she pulled out her weapon and then she engaged and he put the weapon to his head, and he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
President Obama, who was attending a DNC fundraiser in Chicago, said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting, The Hill reported.
“Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community and we are going to do everything we can to make the community of Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with a tough situation but also any potential aftermath,” Obama said. “We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.”
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also released a statement on the incident.
“The scenes coming from Ft. Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories,” Cornyn said. “No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice.”
Some of the wounded were taken to Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, with three of the nine patients brought there in critical condition.
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