Soldier kills three, wounds 16 before taking own life at Texas Army base

Soldier kills three, wounds 16 before taking own life at Texas Army base
Vehicles are checked at the Bernie Beck Main Gate at Fort Hood, Texas, April 2, 2014.

FORT HOOD, Texas - A US soldier with mental health issues shot dead three people and injured at least 16 on Wednesday before taking his own life at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another deadly rampage in 2009, US military officials said.

The soldier, who was being treated for depression and anxiety, went to two buildings on the base and opened fire before he was confronted by military police, Fort Hood commanding officer Mark Milley said.

The gunman, whose motive remains unknown, then shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber pistol, he added.

"The shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Milley told a news conference. "At this time there is no indication that this incident is related to terrorism."

Security officials said preliminary information identified the gunman as Ivan Lopez but Milley declined to identify the shooter, who is married, until his family was notified.

The shooter had served for four months in Iraq in 2011, Milley said, and was also undergoing a diagnosis for post traumatic stress disorder.

The Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, where some of the wounded were taken, said nine patients were in intensive care, three in critical condition.

US President Barack Obama said he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base.

"We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," Obama said. "We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again."

The shooting, the third such incident at a military base in the United States in about six months, started at about 4 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) and put Fort Hood on immediate lockdown.

Milley said the shooter walked into one of the unit buildings, opened fire, then got into a vehicle and fired from there. He then went into another building and opened fire again, until he was engaged by Fort Hood law enforcement.

When confronted by a female military police officer, he killed himself with his semi-automatic weapon in the parking lot.

"He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He put his hands up, then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (.45) and she pulled out her weapon and then she engaged, and he then he put the weapon to his head," Milley said.

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