FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — At least seven people were killed and 20 wounded in two shootings Thursday at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, the Army said. At least two gunmen were believed to be involved in attack, and one was in custody, the military said.
The first shooting began at about 1:30 p.m. at a personnel and medical processing office, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said. The facility, called a Soldier Rating and Processing center, handles administrative details for soldiers.
Banks says the second shooting took place at a theater on the sprawling base.
Sgt. Rebekah Lampam, a spokeswoman at Fort Hood, said it was not known whether the shooters were soldiers or civilians.
An Army spokesman said the base was locked down after the shootings.
Covering 339 square miles, Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the United States. Home to about 52,000 troops as of earlier this year, the sprawling base is located halfway between Austin and Waco.
At the Soldier Readiness Center, soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening — on average about 300-400 screened a day, Lampam said.
Lampam said a graduation ceremony for soldiers who finished college courses while deployed was going on in the auditorium at the time of the shooting.
The White House said President Barack Obama was notified of the shootings.
The base is home to nine schools — seven elementary schools and two middle schools — and all were on lockdown, said Killeen school spokesman Todd Martin.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said Texas Rangers and state troopers were en route to Fort Hood to help seal the perimeter of the 108,000 acre base.
Fort Hood officially opened on Sept. 18, 1942, and was named in honor of Gen. John Bell Hood. It has been continuously used for armored training and is charged with maintaining readiness for combat missions.