Video: Tragedy strikes Fort Hood—again

  1. Closed captioning of: Tragedy strikes Fort Hood—again

    >>> general mccaffrey, ft. hood is indeed a storied military base ain this nation's military history . as we hear now from nbc's mike taibbi , its size and influence in that area can't be overstated.

    >> reporter: at some 340 square miles , ft. hood is america's largest active duty amored post and home to some of the country's most storied fighting divisions, including units of the first calvary, first army and 4th infantry division . it's situated some 60 miles northeast of austin rns the state's capital. and as its air to rain is ideal for training and manned equipment. it served as a relentlessly active wartime engine since 9/11, rotating thousands of soldiers to and from the ongoing wars in iraq and afghanistan. named for confederate general john bell hood who commanded the texas brigade , it was named a permanent military installation in 1951 . it's as big as a small city , serving a total population of more than 218,000, consisting of more than 50,000 military personnel and some 17,900 family members as well as sizable populations of civilian workers and contractors. the installation includes nine schools and a fully staffed 123-bed hospital. and on its western border, the soldier readiness processing center, where soldiers cycle through as they get ready to deploy and where today's shootings were centered. there have been security issues here as there would be in any huge facility. a little over a year ago, a young specialist shooting his first lieutenant before turning the gun on himself. but nothing ever like the violent explosion that began just after 1:30 local time today. mike taibbi , nbc news, new york. >

    >> obviously tonight covering this large staff and news service reports
updated 11/5/2009 10:16:39 PM ET 2009-11-06T03:16:39

Military officials on Thursday called the mass shooting at a Texas Army base an "isolated and tragic case" and said they were unaware of increased security measures at other military bases.

"This is an isolated and tragic case and we're obviously in the process of obtaining more information as the events unfold," said Lt. Col. Eric Butterbaugh, spokesman from the Department of Defense.

Twelve people were killed and at least 31 others were injured when a soldier opened fire at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, military officials said. One gunman wounded and taken into custody, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of the Army’s III Corps, told reporters.

Cone said that the shootings could have been a criminal matter rather than a terrorism-related attack and that there was no intelligence to suggest a plot against Fort Hood.

During a press conference in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry said there was no further threat to residents living near the base and encouraged the community to support of troops. He also declined to speak on added security issues at the base.

Fort Hood is home to about 50,000 troops, although officials said only about 35,000 were on base at the time. The fort, established in 1942, stretches across 339 square miles in central Texas and is the largest single employer in Texas.

It's the only military post in the U.S. capable of supporting two full armored divisions — the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division.

Fort Hood remained on lockdown for hours, as were schools and businesses in the area. Dozens of agents of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives converged on the post, federal officials said.

A spokesman for the Army, Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett, said he was unaware whether security measures were put in place at other military bases.

"As far as the Army is considered, this was as an isolated incident," Packnett said. "We placed the base on lockdown and we're monitoring the situation."

On other bases, Army personnel monitored the news on TV, online and through phone calls.

“We don’t have reason to believe that this is anything other than an isolated incident,” said Joe Piek, Army spokesman from Fort Lewis in Washington. “We don’t normally discuss security operations at the post any ways, but I am sure this is something that our security law enforcement will be reviewing. As we are watching and listening, there is a lot we don't know." senior writer Sevil Omer, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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