Jack Plunkett, File, Associated Press
FORT HOOD, Texas — A gunman opened fire Wednesday at the Fort Hood military base in an attack that left four people dead, including the shooter, at the same post where more than a dozen people were killed in a 2009 mass shooting, law enforcement officials said.
One of the officials, citing internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were hurt. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.
A U.S. law enforcement official said the shooter died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted wound. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to "quite critical."
Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the 2009 assault, which was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history.
The military offered few details. After the shooting began, the Army's official Twitter feed said the post had been locked down. Hours later, all-clear sirens sounded.
On Wednesday evening, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.
Meanwhile, relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.
Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
"The last two hours have been the most nerve-racking I've ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband," DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he could not even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
"I'm still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly," Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still did not know how close the incident was to her husband.
"I just want him to come home," said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of the shooting.
In a hastily arranged statement in Chicago, Obama said he was following the situation closely but that details about what happened at the sprawling Army post were still fluid. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.
Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made — including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they're at their home base, they need to feel safe," Obama said. "We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again."
The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.
- The Associated Press' top 10 movies of the year
- Christmas 1914: The day even WWI showed humanity
- Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4...
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,...
- What people never mention when they talk...
- Hackers warn not to release 'The Interview'...
- Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin has aneurysm
- Think your marital status is important? The...
- Obama: US re-establishing diplomatic... 49
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 32
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his... 16
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there... 14
- Taliban assault on Pakistan school... 13
- Utah football's Hackett, Orchard named... 11
- NYC premiere of Rogen film 'The... 8