|Reuters / III Corps Public Affairs/U.S. Army|
Sources told CBS News that the shooter was a 34-year-old soldier named Ivan Lopez. While little is known about Spc. Lopez, sources told CBS the Wednesday shooting may have been motivated by a conflict with another soldier.
There had been multiple reports of a second shooter, though a US military official confirmed to KCEN-TV that Lopez had acted alone.
As many as fourteen people have reportedly been hospitalized. Three of the wounded have suffered critical injuries and were transported to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other area hospitals.
David Ross, a Fort Hood official, told The Washington Post that the base is “completely sealed” and that every building is being investigated.
“There is a confirmed shooting that occurred,” he said. “We’re still trying to identify what we have.”
KCEN-TV reported that a “possible description” of the suspect said the gunman was a white male driving a gray Toyota. Witnesses speculated that 20 shots were fired from a .45 pistol.
One soldier told KENS-5 in Texas that the first gunshots rang out around 4:35 p.m. near the outdoor motor pool but the gunman then ran into the medical building. The witness said it seemed like some kind of standoff had taken place, and that some people tried to flee by jumping over a seven-foot-high barbed wire fence.
|Fort Hood soldiers watching the news from Fort Irwin. @dongomezjr|
An estimated 90 police and military vehicles were at the scene two hours after the first shots, along with nearly two dozen ambulances and SWAT teams.
The gunman was initially believed to be inside the Medical Support Building, the suspect could be barricaded inside that area.
There were also reports of victims in the Battle Simulation Center on 65th and Warehouse.
The lockdown was lifted Wednesday night, allowing many families to reunite with loved ones who were either stuck in traffic on the way to the base or were waiting for loved ones to arrive there. The American Red Cross previously announced that it had opened a shelter with a capacity of 150 for families who may have had trouble returning to Fort Hood amid the confusion.
The parking lot outside the base, where thousands of people come and go on a daily basis, quickly filled with family members of military personnel anxious for news on the situation. Local media reported that, along with fear and concern, a number of people were voicing frustration that another shooting appears to have taken place after Nidal Hasan, a US Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others on the base in 2009.
Speaking to a press pool in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, US President Obama said he is “heartbroken” about the events at Fort Hood and promised “we will get to the bottom of what happened.”
The FBI had launched a manhunt for a former military recruit who told friends he was planning a “jihad” attack on Fort Hood, according to a Fox News report published Tuesday night. The FBI confirmed the report, although officials said the suspect had been interviewed and that he was not considered a threat. – RT.