By Matt Pearce and Paresh Dave
KILLEEN, Texas —
A military representative has confirmed that there was a shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, today.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Office told the Los Angeles Times that there were injuries on the scene. The number of casualties is not known.
A Twitter message from the base advised all personnel to shelter in place.
Family members gathered near the main gate of the sprawling military base as a stream of police cars approached. Service members throughout the base were not permitted to leave their offices and quarters, and those outdoors were immediately ushered inside.
Spc. Cody Bishop, 28, said his company of about 140 soldiers was in formation on a training exercise when the order came to shelter in place.
“We were standing in formation. They suddenly called everybody inside. They said ‘stay inside.’ You can’t even go outside.”
Bishop said soldiers immediately gathered around television sets to try to learn what was going on. “We’ve got four different news channels on and getting four different reports,” he said.
As best he could tell, the shooting occurred about seven miles away from where he was, Bishop said.
He texted his wife, with whom he lives off base with his son, that he was Okay.
In 2009, the sprawling Army base in central Texas was the site of the deadliest mass shooting on a military base in the U.S. Thirteen people were killed by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in the name of Islam and more than 30 wounded.
Last August, Maj. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was convicted on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in connection with the attack on Nov. 5, 2009. The same military jury deliberated for less than two hours before sentencing him to death.
Prosecutors said that Hasan, a Muslim, was motivated by a “jihad duty” to kill soldiers. Hasan, who acted as his own attorney, rarely challenged prosecutors, admitting to the shooting at trial. In his opening arguments, he contended that his religious beliefs led him to switch sides and attack fellow soldiers to save fellow Muslims.
Hasan carried out his rampage in a center in which soldiers preparing for combat deployments were being processed. Witnesses testified that he shouted “God is great” in Arabic before opening fire.