LOS ANGELES – The latest random shooting in the epidemic of gun violence in America began with a depressed, angst-ridden Iraq war veteran shooting at colleagues at an army base in Texas and ended with him taking his own life.
The tragedy that claimed four lives and wounded 16 other people unfolded Wednesday night at Fort Hood, a sprawling installation that was devastated by a shooting rampage in 2009 that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded.
The motive of the latest shooting was not immediately known, the shooter is not being named pending notification of kin and details are still sketchy, said the base commander, Lieutenant General Mark Milley.
The following are the details that have emerged so far, according to Milley.
— The shooter, who served four months in Iraq in 2011, first opened fire with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol in a medical brigade building.
— He then got into a vehicle, got out and walked into a transport brigade building and started shooting again.
— At this point, the base police moved in, with a female officer taking the lead.
“Military police officer responded and he was approaching at about 20 feet,” Milley said.
“Put his hands up. Then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (gun) and she pulled out her weapon. And then she engaged and then he put the weapon to his head and he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Milley said.
— The gun had been purchased recently in the Fort Hood area and the shooter had recently transferred from another military installation in Texas.
— Officials are not ruling out anything as a motive, including terrorism, but have no reason to focus on the latter at this point.
— The shooter was undergoing “behavior health and psychiatric treatment for depression and anxiety and a variety of other psychological and psychiatric issues,” Milley said.
He was being evaluated for post traumatic stress syndrome but had not been formally diagnosed with it.