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'We'll fix' military base security problems, says US government after Fort Hood shooting

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'We'll fix' military base security problems, says US government after Fort Hood shooting


The US Defence Secretary has promised to fix security problems at military bases following the latest shooting in Texas.

Something is not working, Chuck Hagel said, “when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases.”

“So we’ll identify it, we’ll get the facts, and we’ll fix it,” he told reporters.

At Fort Hood a soldier reportedly with mental problems shot dead three colleagues and wounded 16 before turning his gun on himself.

In 2009 an army psychiatrist at the same base went on the rampage, killing 13 people and injuring more than 30.

The latest shooting is the third at a US military base in just over six months, with memories still fresh from shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in September and late last month at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

“Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago,” said President Obama on Wednesday night after the tragedy. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. And we’re going to have to find out exactly what happened.”

Lieutenant General Mark Milley, commander at Fort Hood, suggested a security overhaul after the 2009 massacre helped limit the damage, saying military police were swift to confront the gunman, as were medical staff to reach victims.

The suspect’s identity is unconfirmed but US media have named him as Ivan Lopez.

He had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and was being assessed for possible post-traumatic stress disorder.

The shooter had “self-reported” a traumatic brain injury after returning from Iraq but was never wounded in action, Milley said.

US Army Secretary John McHugh said the man was being seen by a psychiatrist and showed no signs of violence or suicidal tendencies.

McHugh also told a US Senate committee there was no indication that the soldier was involved with any extremist organisations.

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