No active shooter at Fort Hood, officials say; soldier who made threats in custody

Texas

FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — U.S. Army officials at Fort Hood say there wasn’t an active shooter at the post Thursday morning, despite rumors circulating on social media.

“Rumors of an active shooter on Fort Hood are false; no shots were fired,” said Tom Rheinlander, director of public affairs at Fort Hood.

Rheinlander said an active duty soldier “made homicidal threats toward his leadership and is currently in custody by Fort Hood law enforcement officers.”

The apparent false alarm caused Meadows Elementary School to go into lockdown around 10:35 a.m., but the Killeen Independent School District said in a tweet that they were told it was a false alarm and the kids were safe.

The school district said the lockdown was done “out of an abundance of caution.”

Tweets about an active shooter were posted around 10:30 a.m., and multiple people said they were sheltering in place on the post.

KWKT in Waco reported that a malfunctioning alarm may have also contributed to the incident. That station’s reporting said the school district confirmed that with U.S. Army officials.

Calls for change

Jeff Kagan, a member of the Watchmen Texas group, is hosting a peaceful protest at Fort Hood on Oct. 2-3, disgusted by the spike in deaths, disappearances, and reports of sexual harassment.

“There’s major anxiety,” Kagan said, after mentioning that he knows several people on base. “They’re saying: ‘Am I next?'”

An independent civilian committee spent the past two weeks at Fort Hood looking for answers. This year, 28 soldiers have died at Fort Hood, including Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, who went missing in April and was found dead in a shallow grave.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28) is among those leading a joint congressional investigation into recent events at Fort Hood.

Even with the removal of the senior commander at Fort Hood, many questions remain unanswered.

“Why Fort Hood? That’s the big question,” Cuellar told KXAN. “It looks like sometimes the threats aren’t always foreign armies but they’re internal.”

Cuellar said it’s important that all of the facts be gathered first. But, after that, change must quickly follow.

This weekend, a congressional delegation from Massachusetts will be visiting Fort Hood to meet with service members and review the Army’s sexual harassment program.

Previous violence at Fort Hood

In the past 11 years, there are have been two mass shooting at the post. The first happened in 2009 when 49-year-old Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire and killed 13 people while wounding 32 others.

That shooting, along with another one at Fort Hood in 2014, were among the 32 mass shootings in Texas since 1980 that KXAN documented in its special project “A History of Mass Violence.”

In 2014, Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34, killed three and wounded 14 others before he killed himself. Authorities say he was under evaluation for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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