Obama 'heartbroken' by shooting

 

President Obama said Wednesday he was "heartbroken" by the shooting Wednesday at Fort Hood.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community and we are going to do everything we can to make the community of Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with a tough situation but also any potential aftermath," Obama said. "We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again."

The president, speaking from a Chicago steakhouse following a fundraiser benefitting the Democratic National Committee, said his national security team was in contact with the FBI and the Pentagon.

Aboard Air Force One, Obama convened a conference call with heads of the two departments to receive an update on the shooting. He commended the military personnel, first responders, and medical staff who responded swiftly and heroically to the horrific shooting, according to a White House readout.

The participants of the call included Secretary of Defense Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.

"They are working with folks on ground to determine exactly what happened and ensure that everyone is secure," Obama said.

The president vowed that to "get to bottom of what happened."

"The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, they served with distinction," Obama said. "At their home base they need to feel safe. We don’t yet know what happened tonight but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. We need to find out exactly what happened."

The shooting at Fort Hood left four people dead and 16 people wounded.

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, Fort Hood’s commanding officer, said an active duty solider in the 13th Sustainment Command Expeditionary began firing shots at around 4 p.m.

The soldier walked into a building and began shooting, then got into a car, drove to another building and resumed shooting, Milley said. The suspect's body was found in the parking lot.

Fort Hood was the site of a mass shooting in 2009, when U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan shot and killed 13 people at the base. More than 30 others were injured in that shooting.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement that "our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Hood community in the aftermath of this tragedy."

"Many questions remain and our focus is on supporting the victims and their families," Dempsey said. "This is a community that has faced and overcome crises with resilience and strength."

Earlier Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the president had been regularly updated on the reports from the base.

"The president has been informed of reports of a shooting at Fort Hood. He'll continue to receive updates on the situation throughout the evening," Earnest said.

— This story was last updated on Thursday at 12:42 a.m.

More in News

2 dead in shootings near Fort Myers nightclub

Read more »