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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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April 2, 2014

Guests: Eugene O`Donnell, Keely Vanacker, John Carter, Micah McCoy, Loretta

RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: So, this next hour is going to be crucial and
it`s going to be very busy. Please stay tuned to MSNBC for our continuing

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Within minutes, we expect to hear from
military officials for the first time about this afternoon`s mass shooting
at Fort Hood.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once again tonight, we are covering reports of a
shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooting incident is totally over and the lockdown
has been lifted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All on base were told to take shelter where they were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s believed now there was a single shooter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One shooter and the shooter is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shooter is now dead along with three other

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a fourth is reported to be in extremely critical


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is traveling in Chicago. He`s been

OBAMA: We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the chaos, they were getting conflicting reports.

OBAMA: Any shooting is troubling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hauntingly reminiscent of the 2009 shooting.

OBAMA: We`re heartbroken that something like this might have happened


L. O`DONNELL: Three people were killed after a lone gunman open fired at
Fort Hood, Texas.

Military officials tell MSNBC that the shooter is also dead and took his
own life. He has been identified by officials as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez,
an enlisted army soldier. At least 11 people were wounded in the shooting.
The condition of those victims ranges from stable to critical, according to
hospital officials.

The shots were fired around 4:30 this afternoon. Alarms on the base went
off immediately and people were told to shelter in place.


PA ANNOUNCER: Take shelter immediately.


L. O`DONNELL: Fort Hood is no longer on lockdown. Officials say the FBI
is on the scene and there`s no indication that this incident is tied to any
form of terrorism, according to NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim

Officials believe it began as an argument that erupted into gunfire. NBC
News justice correspondent Pete Williams reports that there is still an
ongoing search for a possible second gunman, but officials increasingly
believe there was only one shooter.

Both President Obama and Defense Secretary Hagel have been briefed. The
president made a statement in Chicago earlier.


OBAMA: I want to just assure all of us that we are going to get to the
bottom of exactly what happened. You know, any shooting is troubling.
Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years
ago. We know these families. We know their incredible service to our
country and the sacrifices that they make.

Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community, and
we`re going to do everything we can to make sure that the community at Fort
Hood has what it needs to deal with the current situation, but also any
potential aftermath.


L. O`DONNELL: Joining me now is NBC News justice correspondent, Pete

Pete, could you sum up what we know as of now?

we think we know, Lawrence, which is that officials say this does not
appear to be any act of terrorism. It appears that the gunman was upset
about something. There was some kind of an argument, and he open fired and
the casualties have resulted, what you enumerated earlier.

Many authorities have told us the name of the gunman, who authorities say
killed himself after firing all these shots. They identify him as Ivan A.
Lopez, 34 years old. He`s in the Army. He was wearing a uniform, people
say. People familiar with the military will understand what I mean when
they say he was an E-4. That means a low-ranking enlisted person. He --
that`s either a corporate or specialist rank, and he had served in the
Puerto Rican Army National Guard. We don`t have his service record. We
don`t know how long he had been at Fort Hood.

We don`t know what the nature of argument was, other than to say that this
was some kind of argument or some kind of -- some sort of animosity, not
something that was preplanned, they say. This is the initial information
that we`re getting. And not anything that was related to terrorism or
anything like the Major Hasan shooting. Other than the fact that both
shootings happened on Fort Hood, they don`t appear to have anything in
common with each or other.

L. O`DONNELL: What is -- what is the state of the investigators`
confidence at this point, when they think they will be able to tell the
full story?

WILLIAMS: Well, these things always take time to make sure, you know, what
know what you don`t know now. They`ll certainly be going through his past,
searching his house, looking at his writings, looking at his computer,
looking at his e-mails, seeing if there`s anything that would give any kind
of warning that something like this was going to happen. They`ll talk to
witnesses, people who know him, what his grievances were, if he had any
disciplinary problems.

So, to answer your question, I`d say probably several days before they have
-- sufficiently have their arms around it to say with some confidence they
know everything there was to know. We`re hoping to get some bare bones
details, as you say, here shortly when the military makes his first formal
statement about this.

L. O`DONNELL: Yes, we believe the press conference is less than 10 minutes
away, Pete. There was a period where they were considering the possibility
of more than one gunman. Do you know, Pete, how they eliminated that

WILLIAMS: I think talking to witnesses is what got them on to the idea
that there was more than one person firing shots at the beginning. And
subsequently doing searching and talking to more witnesses is probably what
got them off of that idea. They seem to be pretty confident now that there
was just one single gunman.

L. O`DONNELL: And, Pete, as this unfolds, who will have primary
jurisdiction over this investigation?

WILLIAMS: It`s going to be a military investigation because it was on a
military base, committed by a person in uniform. If it was a civilian
offender on a military base, that would be different.

So, it`s a military investigation. If the gunman had survived, it would be
a military prosecution. The FBI will certainly assist in whatever it can
do for off-base investigations, but they will do so at the request of the
military. It`s going to be a military case.

L. O`DONNELL: So, the FBI is standing by to offer suggestions and

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

L. O`DONNELL: Pete Williams, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

WILLIAMS: You bet.

L. O`DONNELL: I`m joined now by Jim Cavanaugh, an MSNBC law enforcement
analyst, former police officer and former special agent with the ATF.

And Eugene O`Donnell, professor of law and police study at John Jay College
of Criminal Justice and a former police officer.

Jim Cavanaugh, what do you make of the state of the evidence as we have it

to be learned in the investigation and the week ahead, Lawrence, about the
argument that resulted in 14 people being shot. You know, normally, you`re
not arguing with 14 people.

So, it`s going to be something deeper than that. Why this happened as it
did, maybe there`s some animosity, some revenge. There`s suicide here, and
if you want to look for the answers in suicide, often you have to look to

So, we`ll see. You know, I`ve had cases as a cop, and I`m sure your other
guest has as well, where a person gets in a fight with someone in a tavern
or a bar and somewhere and he shoots the person he`s arguing with and
shoots other people as well. That happens sometimes. People just do that.

But 14 people is an awful lot of people. So I think there`s something else
that the military is going to learn or tell us when the U.S. Army Criminal
Investigation Division and all the agencies collectively will help them,
FBI, ATF, sheriff`s department, state troopers, to get the answers.

L. O`DONNELL: Eugene O`Donnell, is one of the possibilities we might
discover on the 14th that this is kind of wild shooting where it wasn`t
necessarily a deliberate attempt to get each one of these 14 people?

lot of history of people have a long grievance. Sometimes they don`t get
the right person even. They take this to their grave, so you never really
get a clear picture very often of why they`re doing this. I mean, what
story they have is they take with them.

L. O`DONNELL: And we`re probably just a few minutes now away from this
press conference that we`ve been waiting for.

Jim Cavanaugh, if you could get a question in at this press conference,
what would it be? What would you focus on in terms of the information
you`d like to know now?

CAVANAUGH: Well, I want to know if the soldier who committed suicide in
the shooting here, was he under any disciplinary problem? Was he about to
be disciplined for anything? Loses his position? Was he being reassigned?

Those are any conditions, medical conditions, disputes with his bosses,
anything like that that the military could tell you, because what you`re
looking for is, you know, a precipitating event. Something that, you know,
might have caused the person to shoot all these people. And, you know,
that precipitating event could have happened before and then the argument
happens today.

So I just want to know the answers to those kinds of questions, you know,
as a starting point.

L. O`DONNELL: And, Eugene, in terms of what actually happened in the
shooting, we would like to know, for example, how many weapons do we think
we used. This could have been more than one gun that he was firing.

E. O`DONNELL: Absolutely. And obviously clearly to make sure there`s
nobody else involved, because as it appears at this point, there`s nobody
else involved. But you certainly want to go the extra distance to make
sure there`s absolutely no link to anyone else.

L. O`DONNELL: And, Jim, how -- this question of premeditation, I think, is
a little trickier than we may be presenting it right now. He could easily
have had an angry outburst, but it could have been something that was
brewing. It could have been something he thought about to some extent
before this happened.

CAVANAUGH: Right, Lawrence. And what happens is sometimes these guys
collect grudges. You know, they save them up, they carry them around and,
you know, he could have had a pistol with him, for example, in a crowded
place, and, you know, he launched out at someone. It`s just a possibility.
We don`t have the answer.

But these things do happen. They build up. You know, if you look at
shooters, like, say, Virginia Tech. That built up over a number of months
with him, over his grades, over his feeling alone, over his mental

There was a whole lot of issues there, but it didn`t happen one day. The
thing, people say he snapped, that really doesn`t happen. So, it brews for
a long time, they come to the attention of people.

The shooter in Tucson, Loughner, the same thing -- he came to the attention
of the authorities on the college, his teachers. And, you know, they
wanted him off campus. It didn`t happen all of a sudden, but then he`s out
with a gun and he`s looking for the act, the grudge, the revenge. You
know, the suicide, if you will.

And so what the investigators may do is go back and see if they can pick up
any of the beginnings of this horrific event.

L. O`DONNELL: I want to listen more to what the president had to say
today, especially about this occurring at this particular location.


OBAMA: The folks there sacrifice so much on behalf of our freedom. Many
of the people there have been through multiple tours in Iraq and
Afghanistan. They served with valor and they serve with distinction, and
when they`re 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.


L. O`DONNELL: Joining us now by phone, MSNBC military analyst, Colonel
Jack Jacobs.

Jack, I want to get your reaction to this in effect lightning striking
twice in the same place.

COL. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST (via telephone): Yes, well, the
two cases didn`t have very much to do with one another, except in so far as
they`re both at Fort Hood and perhaps that this shooter may have had a
history which should have led his chain of command to anticipate this kind
of action.

L. O`DONNELL: What do you think was in that history, Jack? What do we
know about it now that would have suggested they should watch him?

JACOBS: Well, nothing in particular, but it`s important to keep in mind
these people lived together and they worked together. They`re together all
the time. They`re extremely close, both physically and focused on
achieving a variety of tasks all together.

They spend lots and lots of time together than people normally spend when
they`re at work. And the chain of command is responsible for keeping their
eye on absolutely everybody, and identifying when somebody might have a

It`s difficult to envision if somebody did -- if this guy had a problem
that it would not have come to the attention of the chain of command. And
so that`s the other thing that the Major Hasan case and this one have in
common. In the case of Major Hasan, his chain of command knew that he was
a problem and didn`t do anything about it. We hope this is not the case

L. O`DONNELL: Jack, we`re minutes away from this press conference at Fort
Hood. What are you hoping to learn? What are you going to be listening
for in particular?

JACOBS: Well, there are two major groups of things that would be
interesting to know. First of all, as we just discussed whether or not
there was some inkling that the chain of command knew he had problems or
had been a disciplinary problem or so forth. He was identified that he was
an E-4, which is a relatively low rank for an enlisted man, and he was 34
years old. That`s quite old to be an E-4. Perhaps he was a higher rank
and had some disciplinary problems and was reduced in rank because of them.
So he has -- he may have a history of disciplinary problems.

So what kinds of attitudes what kind of work environment? This is
important, what his relationships were to his fellow soldiers. The second
thing that would be of interest, the mechanics of the whole thing. I would
be interested to know what kind of weapon caused this, whether there was
more than one weapon.

It`s interesting that if this had been percolating for some time, to know
that if it -- typically, when you come on a military base, if you have a
car that`s registered on post and you have a military ID, the MPs at the
gate will check your id but will not search your vehicle or your person.
It would be interesting to know whether or not he brought a weapon on post
after some period of time, or had it on post.

But that whole sequence of events would be important to know.

L. O`DONNELL: Jack, is that rule going to have to be reconsidered? Or the
process by which they search or don`t search vehicles entering military
base, is it time for reconsideration of that?

JACOBS: Well, it`s a very interesting question. You have to balance
efficiency with safety at the end of the day. If you have a post the size
Fort Hood, Texas, with people, military people coming in and out of the
post all the time to search every single vehicle, even those that are
registered on post and driven by people in uniform who have military IDs,
that would be a logistical nightmare.

But in smaller posts, it`s easy. Huge posts like Fort Hood, Fort Bragg,
North Carolina, Fort Benning, Georgia, that`s going to be virtually
impossible to do without bringing the entire post to a standstill.

L. O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, Jack Jacobs mentions that these people work
in close quarters. They know an awful lot about each other. They have all
sorts of conversations ranging from all sorts of subjects.

And I suspect we will now be hearing no doubt over the next few days quotes
that Ivan Lopez, things he said at some point in time that now resonate in
a way that last week they might not have.

CAVANAUGH: That`s exactly right, Lawrence. The colonel is exactly right,
that the military is a close family. They find each other`s ticks and ins
and outs. Their commanders know, their noncommissioned officers know.

So there will be some signs. The issue, though, is to train all the
supervisors and police and everybody to recognize, the signs are always
subtle. They`re never real blatant. Once in a while you`ll get somebody
who says I`m going to do this and spits it out. You see that from a lot of
younger people in high school and stuff.

But often the signs are very subtle, a large resentment building up.
Someone sort of really, really being affective in their life by that anger,
that you can see it boiling inside them. Or maybe just comments about, you
know, he`ll get his and I`ll get back, and it sort of boils up.

And people see that. You need to, you know, get that to the right person,
the right mental health person. You know, in the police service, we use
negotiators, hostage negotiators, we used to call them. The discipline now
is called crisis negotiator.

But we all need collectively as a country to increase our crisis
negotiators. We need to have more, we need to the police -- and in the
military, we need to push that up and push that out and get those mental
health people more available and up front without a stigma.

There should be no stigma to it. It`s just part of living.

L. O`DONNELL: We`re going to take a break right here so we can get back in
time for the press conference which should be starting very soon. We`re
going to be right back.


L. O`DONNELL: You are watching our live continuing coverage of the
shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, today. We are awaiting a press conference at
that military base that should be starting at any moment where there are
now three dead, 11 wounded, one of the dead includes the gunman who opened
fire at Fort Hood today.

We will be right back with more of our live coverage.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has just been a crazy day. You get word of a
shooting in Fort Hood and you can`t help but think about 2009 --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- when Nidal Hasan went in there and did that horrific
act. You hope to God this didn`t happen again and then we get word when
the coverage unfolds that it does, and it did. It`s sad, it`s
heartbreaking, but you hope that the community can recover from this.


L. O`DONNELL: That was news coverage today from NBC station KCEN in
Temple, Texas. That was earlier tonight.

The only civilian killed in 2009 shooting at Fort Hood was 62-year-old,
Michael Cahill, a physician`s assistant. His daughter Keely Vanacker joins
me now by phone from Cameron, Texas. Also on the phone, still with us,
MSNBC military analyst, Colonel Jack Jacobs.

Keely, I can imagine your shock today hearing another shooting at Fort


L. O`DONNELL: Keely, I think we can all imagine your reaction today
hearing there was yet another shooting at Fort Hood. You haven`t lost your
father in the last shooting there.

VANACKER: I just couldn`t believe that something was happening again. My
sister had called me. She said, where are you? I said I`m at home. She
said, have you watched the news. I said no, I hadn`t turned it on.

So, I immediately turned on the news and I just couldn`t believe that there
was something going on like a shooting again at Fort Hood.

L. O`DONNELL: And did you find yourself going through that process again?
I know you have friends at Fort Hood, trying to call around and make sure
that everyone was OK?

VANACKER: Yes. I mean, it just -- it brought back very vivid memories of,
you know, the first time when we were trying to contact my dad and were
sitting here trying to go OK, who`s still at Fort Hood and trying to make
sure that everyone is OK and where are you.

And slowly, we were able to hear from people and find out that they were on
lockdown or that, you know, they were okay or they were already off post.
We still have a few people we`re wondering where they are and whether
they`re OK or not. I just -- every vivid memory from five years ago came

L. O`DONNELL: And, five years ago, Keely, how long did it take you to
discover what happened to your father that day when you were making those
phone calls?

VANACKER: It takes a long time. And this is where I really, really feel
for all you families out there right now still waiting for record, and
they`re sitting here or listening to me or watching the news desperate.
And they`re calling everyone they know. They`re calling every fellow
soldier they know. They`re calling every person that they have contact
with at Fort Hood, desperately, desperately waiting word.

I just hope -- you know, it`s just so hard for me to say, you know, that
hold out some hope. You know, if you haven`t heard from them yet, just
hope that, you know, you`ll receive some positive word, or that maybe that
they`re injured but they`re alive. And it does -- you know, we didn`t know
about my dad until 11:00 that night. There are some families that didn`t
find out until the next day. So --

L. O`DONNELL: So, in your case, it was about nine hours after the shooting
that you finally got the word. I imagine you were trying to call him on
his cell phone and getting no response after those hours dragged on. I
imagine you began to believe that he was definitely one who was hurt

VANACKER: Well, it was hard. I mean, we were -- at that point, they were
finally putting out -- every person we called, every number we called, we
got another number. Then we started calling the hospitals.

And, you know, you kind of -- I think back now, every answer you have, I`m
sorry, we don`t have his name. I`m sorry, he hasn`t been brought to the
hospital, you know, the hindsight tells you, gosh, wow, I should have just

But you don`t want to believe anything like that at that moment. You want
to have that hope. And, you know, we just were hoping that, you know, he`s
busy, you know? That he wasn`t killed. That he was helping the wounded.

We knew he was not going to be -- you know, even if he had survived, he
would have been right in there in the mix with helping everyone. So, you
know, you really try to hold out hope the whole time.

L. O`DONNELL: And, Keely, do you have any suggestions for the authorities
on how they should, based on your experience, on how they should hand this
will kind of notification?

VANACKER: It gets very difficult. What people have to understand, and
this is where it`s just really hard if you`re not in a military community,
to really understand how this works because, you know, right now, Fort Hood
is, one, trying to determine who is injured and who has been killed.

And those that have been killed, they go through a process and they have to
find who gets first notification, who is their mother, who is the father,
who is the wife, or the husband. And figuring and determining who that is,
and how quickly they have to find that information. If this is someone who
just arrived at Fort Hood that day because they were going to go through
SRP or something, they don`t have access to that information quickly, as
you might think.

So it takes a while to determine that. And once they do, then it becomes,
they have to notify wherever their family are, you have to understand,
these family members may be in Alaska. Their family might be in New York.
Their family is not necessarily living there at Fort Hood. And then they
have to contact, you know, chaplains and casualty assistance officers and
get them ready to go. And they go directly to the home and do personal

And, you know, as soon as you want that information, it takes time for the
army to do it right. So --

L. O`DONNELL: Keely Vanacker, thank you very much for joining us and
sharing your unique perspective on today`s events and the tragic shooting
there five years ago. I am very sorry for your loss five years ago and
that it has been brought back to you in this way again today. Thank you
very much, Keely.

VANACKER: Thank you, and we are feeling for all those families and our
prayers are with them right now.

L. O`DONNELL: Thank you, Keely.

Joining us now is Texas Congressman John Carter whose district includes
Fort Hood.

Congressman Carter, where were you today when you got the call about what
happened there?

REP. JOHN CARTER (R), TEXAS: I was in my office.

L. O`DONNELL: And what was your reaction that here it is happening again
five years later?

CARTER: My first reaction was the same as the reaction I had in `09. I
immediately called my -- I have a staff member who works on Fort Hood with
the army. I called my staff member and said, what do you know? There`s
supposed to be a live shooting going on in Fort Hood. What do you know?
He said I`m on my way and I`ll let you know.

L. O`DONNELL: And I know when you represent a district that has a base of
any size, but certainly when you represent a district that has a base of
this enormity, it is one of the top two or three things on your mind in
representation of that district all the time. Fighting for assets for it
and whatever the base needs. You must have your own contact channels into
the base there tonight. Have you been getting your own reports about this?

CARTER: I have, both from my staffer on the ground and so in touch with
the facilities folks and been able to talk with them. And then I`m
chairman of the homeland security appropriations. So I`m also be getting
DHS reports.

L. O`DONNELL: And are you satisfied with the speed of the investigation
that`s going on there now?

CARTER: Well, yes. The lady that spoke earlier is right. There are
procedures that have to be followed by the army, and they do a very good
job of it, but everything takes some time. I think General Milley is going
to come on some time now and give us a full report. He has been a
confident soldier and I`m very proud of him.

L. O`DONNELL: Have you been involved in discussion since the last shooting
at Fort Hood about base security, particularly at Fort Hood and exactly
what the procedures should be at the gates?

CARTER: I`ve had briefings on it by the staff at Fort Hood and by the
facilities at Fort Hood. One of the things that makes what we call the
great place the great place, because that`s what they call Fort Hood, the
great place, is that it has a great community relation with the clean and
confidence (INAUDIBLE) in surrounding area.

And so, they want to continue to having that strong relation with the
community. So once they got through all the security examinations, they
still wanted to have an open post as much as they could. And of course,
it`s been four years, well, almost five years now since November of `09.
And so, I`m sure they still have good security at the gates but there`s
open traffic.

L. O`DONNELL: And Colonel Jack Jacobs who was mentioning earlier that on a
base this size, to do searches of every car going through those gates would
just create crippling traffic jams in the area. Is that your sense of what
would happen if we got into a situation where you actually had to try to
crack down on every car going through?

CARTER: I agree with that. You know, at Fort Hood, there are roughly --
Fort Hood is a 125,000 related employees, soldiers and civilians related to
Fort Hood. It`s the largest employer in Texas. And so the traffic jams
would be horrendous and there are traffic jams already, soldiers move in
and out of Fort Hood.

L. O`DONNELL: And when you got the call today, have you gotten any
requests from anyone at Fort Hood for any additional help they might need
in this situation?

CARTER: I have talked to the number two at Fort Hood. I just recently
within the last 30 minutes. And I`m expecting a call from General Milley
as soon as he gets through with his press conference. He is very courteous
behavior and they are keeping me on top of things. And I expect and I will
tell General Milley anything that he needs, we will do our very best to

L. O`DONNELL: Congressman Carter, thank you very much for joining us on
this what I know is a very difficult night for you.

CARTER: These folks at that great place have had a really tough time and
this is a real tragedy. We need to pray for them.

L. O`DONNELL: Congressman, I want you to take as much time as you want
before you leave us and anything you want to say to your constituents there
at the fort and in the surrounding area?

CARTER: Well, the one thing we know is Fort Hood soldiers are the toughest
on earth and our civilians friends in the surrounding communities support
them whole heartedly. Let`s get behind them as they always do and I know
they will. And you`ll be amazed at the things surrounding community would
do make these families feel some comfort.

L. O`DONNELL: Congressman John Carter, thank you very much for joining us

CARTER: Thank you.

L. O`DONNELL: Eugene O`Donnell, you can see street fights here in New
Yorker anywhere at any police jurisdiction, every day of the week where
somebody says to the other guy, I`m going to kill you.


O`DONNELL: And 99 percent of the time they don`t mean it. And we may
discover in this investigation that something like that was said, somewhere
24, 48 hours before this event today. And people might point to it and say
well, why didn`t anybody act on that? That is one of the things going to
be interesting is that the language people use in conflict is frequently
hyperbolic. The number of times people say I`m going to kill you would
have no meaning behind it. It turns out today it looks like that may be
what`s involved here. That this was an angry altercation, a fight of
sorts, among people who knew each other, one of whom had a gun.

E. O`DONNELL: We can, for sure though, we can do more in security, we can
do more on intervention. And I think mental help is huge national issues.
It`s obviously an issue in the military and you would like to believe the
military, this giant organization is one big happy family.

But I don`t think people would be surprised to hear there`s probably a lot
of bulling, perceived slights that go on amongst troops. So those kinds of
issues cry out for attention. But we certainly can do more.

It`s probably hard to make, obviously, a facility like Fort Hood completely
safe. But incrementally. Security can be raised, the ability to respond to
these events can be raised. And again, most importantly, in the military
and outside the military, we have a national mental health crisis. It`s
screaming out for help every single day in the military and beyond. We
have these issues playing out. The prisons in the country are full of
mentally ill people. We`ve had a very lethargic response to that major,
major issue.

L. O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, is there -- are there things happen on the
technological front that some years down the road might actually make it
possible for cars going through gates to be in effect speed searched
electronically for weapons?

CAVANAUGH: It is going to be pretty tough, Lawrence. You know where the
car is metal, the guns are metal. It`s going to be pretty tough.

I mean, the best thing that the military can probably do and they have done
a lot of these things in their report after the Hasan shooting. But if is
to see if they can secure certain areas that may be at higher risk, you
know, certain buildings on the base or certain sections on the base. It`s
too big to secure every spot from a driver going on, just like the
congressman said. But there may be some places that you don`t want that to
happen. You know, the reports that this was at a medical facility, a
hospital. You know, that might be a place you want to be more secure. You
know, has a uniform officer.

And Eugene will remember this, we spent many times on our shifts in
emergency rooms. Why? Because there`s a lot of conflict there. People
are hurt. That`s where people that are assaulted wind up. That`s where
victims and witnesses go. That`s where the mentally disturbed are.

So sometimes when you have a hospital facility, if that turns out to be the
case here, there might be a place where you want more security. But you
aren`t going to be able to secure the whole base of that size. But I mean,
this is just heart break for the military. I mean, it`s heart break.

And I think the country feels a collective respect for the army and the
military as a whole after all the wars. And it`s heart breaking to see
that they have to endure this with Fort Hood and Hasan and the navy yard
and even the shooting in North Fork a couple of weeks ago. We don`t want
our military to have to endure this after all they endure in the war.

L. O`DONNELL: We have reports that the delay in the start of this press
conference which is every five minutes being pushed back five minutes is
due to traffic leading to the site of the press conference and that there
are participants in the press conference who are stuck in that traffic,
working their way through that traffic to get to the press conference site.
And we are still being told now that we are just a few minutes away from
that press conference. That`s something we`ve been told for about the last
40 minutes.

And we`re going to take a break right here so that when we do get back, we
won`t miss any of that press conference.

We will take a break here. We will be right back.


L. O`DONNELL: The news conference in Fort Hood is beginning right now. We
expect to hear from Lieutenant general Mark Milley, your Fort Hood`s
commanding general. They`re getting -- they are doing the audio checks
now. We believe everyone who needs to be at the press conference is at the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all for your patience.

L. O`DONNELL: We expect it to begin --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to introduce General Mark A. Milley, the
commander of the U.S. third corpses. He`ll make a statement about what he
can right now and then he`ll take your questions after that. Raise your
hand if you have a question and we`ll direct you as to when it`s time to go
ahead and ask your question.

All right. So, the commander of the third corps, Lieutenant General Mark
A. Milley.


I would like to start off first with condolences to the killed and wounded
soldiers here at Fort Hood from an incident this afternoon at approximately
1600 or 4:00 p.m. today, a soldier assigned to 13th sustainment command
expeditionary fired shots at individuals within the unit areas here.
Within the first medical brigade area and the 49th transportation battalion

The post immediately went into lockdown. We have now lifted the lockdown
as of 30 or 45 minutes ago. Within 15 minutes, first responders from the
military police and the emergency services responded to the scene, engaged
the shooter and the shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In regard to the investigation at this time, there is no indication that
this incident is related to terrorism, although we are not ruling anything
out, and the investigation continues. An investigation by various law
enforcement officers at federal level from ATF and from FBI, at the state
level, from the Texas rangers, the Texas state police along with local
armed law enforcement of KPD and (INAUDIBLE), along with army CID and army
military police.

We have confirmed that there are three victims who were killed and then the
shooter was killed. And there are 16 injured being treated at Scott and
White and here at Darnell. Our thoughts and prayers go out to each of
those injured and their families and the killed and their families.

Our focus now is to focus on the families of the injured and focus on the
families of the killed. Ensure that they have the best care and counseling

I do ask the Fort Hood community, or anyone in the local community if they
have any information relating to this incident to please contact either the
FBI or the Fort Hood department of emergency services.

Events in the past have taught us many things here at Fort Hood. We know
the community is strong. We know the community is resilient. And we know
the soldiers and the civilians and families of this fort who serve so
bravely in combat over the last 13 years in both Iraq and Afghanistan are
strong and we`ll get through this.

Thanks to all who have supported us. Thanks to the local community who
supported us for the last several hours and many years. And thanks also
specifically to Scott and White for their excellent medical care and their
ability to handle additional casualties.

And with that, I will take your questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do we know a motive? What set this man off?

MILLEY: We do not know a motive. We do know that this soldier had
behavioral health and mental health issues and was being treated for that.


MILLEY: At this point, his next of kin has not yet been notified, so I am
not going to confirm his name. We do have his name, but the next of kin
have not been notified so I`ll wait that has been done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Has he serves overseas?

MILLEY: He has served in combat. He served four months in Iraq in 2011.


MILLEY: He was currently under diagnosis for PTSD, but he had not been
diagnosed for PTSD.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you describe what happened? (INAUDIBLE).

MILLEY: It`s under investigation. The exact sequence of events and
timeline of events are not 100 percent clear. It is believed that he
walked into one of the unit buildings, open fire fired, got into a vehicle,
fired from a vehicle, got out of the vehicle, walked into another building
and open fired again and was then engaged by local law enforcement here at
Fort Hood. I`m sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) did he begin this thing with an
argument? We heard there was an argument in the WTU and that is how this
started and that he also was used a semiautomatic handgun of some kind.

MILLEY: He was using a 0.45 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol
that was purchased recently in the local area. I`m not aware of an
argument at the WTU. There were initial reports there may have been an
argument in one of the unit areas, but don`t have any indication of an
argument at WTU. He had not been assigned here to the WTU.


MILLEY: That, we don`t know. We are checking his background. He recently
arrived in Fort Hood in February from another installation. And we`re
checking with another installation to determine the background of the
soldier. And obviously, we are digging deep into his background. Any
criminal history, psychiatric history, his experiences in combat. All of
the things you were expecting to be done are being done right now.


MILLEY: I`ll come back to you. Hang on for just a second -- Go ahead.


MILLEY: They were a result of the gun fire, either direct wounds from the
gun fire. In some cases, there was some glass that shattered and some have
some superficial wounds from that. Others, one was jumping a fence and got
injured there, but it was a result of --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sir, was this soldier was in the process of
being transitioned out of the military?

MILLEY: He was not in the process of being transitioned out of the
military to my knowledge at this time.

MILLEY: General, was his body found in his car, next to his car, in the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: His body was found in the parking lot where he
was engaged by military police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you describe how they engaged him?

MILLEY: Military police officer responded and he was approaching her at
about 20 feet. He put his hands up. Then reached under his jacket, pulled
out the nine mil and she pulled out her weapon. And then she engaged and
then he put the weapon to his head and he died to a self-inflicted gunshot
wound -- go ahead.


MILLEY: I`m not ruling out terrorism. All I`m saying is there`s no
indication of it at this time. We have FBI and all appropriate federal
agencies and all of the various organizations searching all the internet,
twitter, facebook and all the normal associates you would do and the
investigation on that part is ongoing. We do not have any indications of
that right now, but I`m not ruling that out. say again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You haven`t completely ruled that out?

MILLEY: We are not ruling in or out anything?


MILLEY: I`m not sure I understood what he said, but no, I don`t have Fort
Hood as a specific target or any other installation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you tell us if he had any family on post?

MILLEY: The soldier is married, does have family and again we`re in the
process of notification.


MILLEY: They`re in the local area, that`s correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Were any of the victims known to the soldier?

MILLEY: I do not know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many weapons did he have?

MILLEY: To our knowledge, he had one weapon, .45 caliber Smith and Wesson.


MILLEY: If I said .9 millimeter, I misspoke. It`s a .45 caliber Smith and
Wesson. Don`t know how much ammunition.


MILLEY: It`s a headquarters building where they conduct day to day
administration of the medical brigade. And then in the other building they
conduct the day to day administration of a transportation battalion.


MILLEY: They`re not far away from each other.


MILLEY: The 49th transportation battalion yes. He would have gone there
for administrative purposes.


MILLEY: No, not his treatment. That`s his unit headquarters.


MILLEY: I did not say his rank nor his name. And I`ll do that when his
family is appropriately notified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: General, what type of treatment was

MILLEY: He was undergoing behavioral health and psychiatric treatment for
depression and anxiety and a variety of other psychological and psychiatric


MILLEY: He was not assigned to the WTU at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The female officer who engaged him, how
would you describe what she did?

MILLEY: It was clearly heroic, what she did. At that moment in time, and
she did her job, and she did exactly what we would expect of a United
States army military police.


MILLEY: He was not diagnosed as of today with PTSD. He was undergoing a
diagnosis process to determine if he had PTSD. That is a lengthy process
to be confirmed with PTSD.


MILLEY: There are reports -- I don`t know if he was diagnosed in the
clinical sense. There are reports he self-reported a traumatic brain
injury previously come back from the Iraq tour.


MILLEY: He was on medication, that`s correct.


MILLEY: Yes. He was. He was not a wounded warrior. He was not wounded
in action to our records. No purple heart, not wounded in action in that

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sir, you said he came from another
installation in February. Can you tell us which one that is?

MILLEY: At this time I prefer not. I mean, I`ve got folks calling that
installation, talking to their chain of command in order to determine all
the background information of the soldier.


MILLEY: I`m sorry.


MILLEY: It`s here in Texas. OK, a couple more questions. Yes, ma`am?


MILLEY: All of the wounded and killed were military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sir, what can you tell us about the protocol
as far as carrying the type of weapon the soldier has and other soldier
that are allowed on base. What can you tell us about security?

MILLEY: If you have a weapon and you`re on base, it`s supposed to be
registered on base. This weapon was not registered on base.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: General, can you give us your reaction, what
went through your mind when you heard another shooting had occurred here?

MILLEY: Immediate reaction was casualty, what kind of casualties, and do
we have one or more shooters? And are those shooters secure and to provide
the protection for the local community.


MILLEY: We have a local FBI liaison officer. But no, large FBI, you know,
assets were not here. They are actually inbound to help with the
investigation, but no, there`s local FBI available to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: A lot of programs were placed in to help
soldiers dealing with issues coming back from service. In light of what`s
happened today, are you concerned those programs had gaps in them?

MILLEY: We`ll have to re-examine all of those programs and see if there
were any gaps. So I`m not ready to answer that just yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Over the years now, we`ve had three, this is
the first one we`ve had. Are you concerned beyond the fact that this is
not the first time. Are you concerned about this becoming a target for
whatever reason? (INAUDIBLE)

MILLEY: My reaction wasn`t not again. Here, my reaction was immediately
to make sure we had a read on the casualties, immediately secure the site
and immediately look for one or more shooters and the security insulations.
I wasn`t thinking about not again or any of that.


MILLEY: Right now, my concern is of the families of those that were
injured and those that were killed.


MILLEY: You`re not allowed to carry concealed weapons on base. No, I
don`t think soldiers should have concealed weapons on base. We have law
enforcement agent. We are trained professionals that I don`t endorse
carrying concealed on base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How soon was law enforcement on scene?

MILLEY: It was within minutes. Exact time probably 10 to 15 maybe max.


MILLEY: I think law enforcement acted very rapidly and swiftly given the
nature of the circumstance. I`m not going to get into a debate with you on
carrying weapons on a military installation.


MILLEY: Say again?


MILLEY: No, I don`t have the specifics and I rather not going to that.
The shooter was a male and the officer that engaged the shooter was a
female. But the other injured, no. I don`t.

Say again?


MILLEY: Probably about 15 minutes, 20 minutes. But we don`t know that
exact timeline.


MILLEY: Let me go to someone else. Anyone else. Go ahead.


MILLEY: I think the response from the law enforcement and from the medical
folks displayed lessons learned from the previous case. And I think it was
obvious that the response was swift and it was appropriate both from a law
enforcement perspective and from a medical perspective.

Last question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sir, you mentioned that the suspect bought the
weapon. How much indication do you have about premeditation here?

MILLEY: I do not know. That will be part of the investigation. Don`t
know any idea about the premeditation. Last question, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Considering he did have a weapon that was not
registered. He carried it on base. Are you considering changing the
protocol or practices of how -- if you can check a vehicle as it`s
approaching base, considering this just happened.

MILLEY: I will be reviewing all of those procedures, that`s correct.

So, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Also appreciate you support.
We will hold a regular press conference daily until we get all of the
information out into the public that we have that`s appropriate. I don`t
have a time for that but the first one obviously will be tomorrow. And
colonel Chris Garver (ph), our public affairs officer will put that out.
And I just ask your thoughts and prayers for the fallen and wounded in this
particular case.

Thank you very much.


L. O`DONNELL: That was Fort Hood commanding general, Lieutenant General
Mark Milley. He increased the death toll in that report. There are now
four dead, according to his report, three victims killed by the shooter and
then the shooter himself who the general said have known motive for the
shooting but he did have mental health issues. He had served four months
in Iraq, and he was in the process of being diagnosed for PTSD. He was
under psychiatric treatment for depression and anxiety. The general said
that he entered a building and opened fire. He left that build, got in his
car and open fire again then re-entered another building and open fire then
he was shot and killed -- that he was approached by police in a parking lot
where he shot and killed himself.

Our live coverage of the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, continues.


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