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Four dead at Fort Hood including shooter, 16 wounded

Four people were killed in a shooting at Fort Hood including the assailant, a soldier who served in Iraq and was being treated for mental health issues, the commander of the US base said
Four people were killed in a shooting at Fort Hood including the assailant, a soldier who served in Iraq and was being treated for mental health issues, the commander of the US base said

Four people were killed in a shooting at Fort Hood including the assailant, a soldier who served in Iraq and was being treated for mental health issues, the commander of the US base said.

"There is no indication that this incident is related to terrorism," Lieutenant General Mark Milley told reporters, adding that 16 people were wounded in the incident at Fort Hood, scene of a deadly shooting rampage in 2009.

The shooter -- who was not identified pending notification of his next of kin --- took his own life, Milley said.

All of the dead and wounded were military personnel.

The assailant used a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol that he had bought recently in the area, the general said.

The shooter had spent four months in Iraq in 2011 and was currently undergoing a "diagnosis process" to determine if he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Milley told reporters.

The sprawling military site was on lockdown for several hours as the incident unfolded, but the all-clear was given late Wednesday.

US President Barack Obama leaves after making a statement to the press on April 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, on the shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas
US President Barack Obama leaves after making a statement to the press on April 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, on the shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, state police, local law enforcement and military police were all working on the investigation.

President Barack Obama said he was "heartbroken something like this might have happened again," after a shooting at the base which killed 13 people five years ago.

The sprawling military site remained on lockdown a couple of hours after staff were ordered to shelter in place, after emergency crews rushed to the scene.

A soldier told CNN he heard gun shots "and assumed they were blank rounds... We then heard a burst, another burst and it was clear they weren't blank rounds. They were live rounds."

Obama, who was in Chicago, said investigators would "get to the bottom of what happened."

"Obviously, this reopened the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago," Obama said. "Many of the people there have been on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, they served with distinction. At their home base they need to feel safe."

- Deadly history -

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel receives an update on the phone after a report of a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel receives an update on the phone after a report of a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas

On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a medical facility in the sprawling base that serves as a staging point for soldiers to deploy to combat zones.

Twelve of the 13 dead and 30 of the wounded were soldiers. Hasan was himself shot by a civilian police officer who responded to the attack and Hasan is now partially paralyzed.

A military jury last August sentenced the US-born Muslim of Palestinian descent to death.

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel would be kept up to date "as events unfold" at Fort Hood, said a spokesman.

Fort Hood is spread out over almost 900 square kilometers, and is the largest US military base with a population of 70,000 including 42,000 military personnel.

File picture shows a fallen soldiers memorial, November 10, 2009 in Fort Hood, Texas, ahead of a service for thirteen victims of a shooting rampage by US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan
File picture shows a fallen soldiers memorial, November 10, 2009 in Fort Hood, Texas, ahead of a service for thirteen victims of a shooting rampage by US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan

The rest are family and civilian staff. The biggest unit stationed there is the 1st Cavalry Division with 17,000. One of its brigades is slated to be deployed in Europe this year on a rotating basis with European partner countries.

Shooting at US military facilities are not uncommon.

In September last year civilian contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard with a sawed-off shotgun.

Just last month a 35-year-old gunman shot and killed a sailor on board the USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, at Naval Station Norfolk, America's largest naval base in Virginia.

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