The gunman who killed three people at Fort Hood was a soldier currently undergoing mental health treatment, according to base officials. The motive behind the attack that left several dead remains unclear.
Details began emerging on Wednesday night about the identity of the shooter – now deceased - who opened fire at Fort Hood army base several hours earlier. While the commanding general answered questions about the suspect's background, he declined to release his name until next of kin had been notified.
The man behind Wednesday's rampage was a soldier stationed at Fort Hood who had served in Iraq in 2011, according to Lieutenant General Mark Milley.
"He was currently [undergoing] diagnosis for PTSD but had not yet been diagnosed," Lt. Gen. Milley said, clarifying that such an assessment was normally a length process.
The suspect had, however, been suffering from "depression, anxiety and a variety of other [mental health issues.]"
Federal law enforcement had launched an investigation into the incident, working alongside state, local and military authorities. So far, no motive has emerged.
No evidence of terrorism connection
At approximately 4 p.m. local time (2100 UTC), the suspect entered a building at the military installation where he opened fire with his 45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The gunman then drove to a second location on base, once again firing on military personnel inside. Military police then engaged the attacker in the parking lot, where he took his own life.
Three people – all military personnel – were killed in the shooting and 16 others injured. They are being treated both on base and at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, located in Temple, which lies roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Fort Hood.
Fort Hood officials lifted the lockdown at roughly 8 p.m. local time after securing base facilities. There had originally been fears that other gunmen remained at large.
The shooting did not appear to be related to terrorism, but authorities were not ruling out any possibilities, the Fort Hood commanding general told reporters.
Obama vows full investigation
Reactions poured in while the situation was ongoing early Wednesday evening. Speaking from Chicago, where he was attending Democratic fundraisers, US President Barack Obama said he was "heartbroken that something like this might've happened again."
"We're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," Obama said.
Fort Hood was the site of a mass shooting in 2009 when an army psychiatrist shot dead 13 people and injured 31 others.
Wednesday's incident wasn't the first to occur at a military facility over the last year. In September, a civilian contractor opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard in the US capital, killing 12 people.
kms/lw (AP, AFP, Reuters)