Return to Transcripts main page

CNN SPECIAL REPORTS

Shooting at Fort Hood

Aired April 2, 2014 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN special report. I'm Don Lemon.

I'm going to begin tonight with breaking news on that deadly shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the situation still considered an active scene. The suspected shooter is dead. That's according to officials.

But a senior military official tells CNN there are multiple fatalities. At least six people are wounded. Their conditions range from stable to quite critical. We have learned the shooter used a semiautomatic and was wearing combat fatigues. We're going to bring you a live news conference from the base in just a minute.

And the shooting started at Fort Hood's medical brigade building, not far from the base's medical center. That's according to a soldier. Other sources say the incident may have started as a soldier-on-soldier attack. This is of course the base where Major Nidal Hasan opened fire on November 5, 2009, killing 13 people and injuring 32.

President Obama tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to just assure all of us that we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: We will also have the latest on Flight 370 tonight.

But I want to begin right now with our breaking news on tonight's deadly shooting at Fort Hood.

Joining me now on the phone is Lynn Adams. Her husband is on the base and she's on lockdown with her children.

Lynn, your husband is on the base and you live there on Fort Hood with your family, three daughters, ages 8, 6, and 4. Your daughters are asleep right now. I want you to describe the scene where you are. LYNN ADAMS, WIFE OF SOLDIER: Well, about 15 minutes ago, we actually got the all-clear from what we call our big voice in the sky, which is (INAUDIBLE) that the situation was over.

So there's a lot of normal noise in the neighborhood. Dogs are out again and barking. Some of my neighbors are out across the street talking and things like that.

LEMON: Did you see or hear anything this afternoon when that shooting began?

ADAMS: No.

I live probably about a mile-and-a-half to two miles from where the shooting was reported to have taken place. We did not hear anything. A friend of mine alerted me through social media that KCEN, our local NBC station, had posted to Twitter and Facebook that there was an active shooting on post, and within minutes the sirens went off overhead.

LEMON: Do you know anything about the injured? Do you know any of the injured people? Do you know the shooter. What can you tell us about anything you know about this, the people involved?

ADAMS: I really don't know any of the people involved. They haven't even released names, other than they have identified the shooter, and the shooter is not somebody I know.

LEMON: But you did know it was real, because they don't have unplanned drills, right?

ADAMS: We are usually notified of drills, and then the emergency broadcast system tests every third Wednesday of the month. I think it's at noon or 1:00. I just moved back on post just this past weekend.

LEMON: Yes. But you have lived there. You watched the 2009 shooting on TV and you worried that could be you, right, back then or some day? Is your husband -- your husband works there, he works in the battalion. And did he know any of the people who were seriously hurt back in 2009?

ADAMS: He has, I know, come in contact with some of the people that were there that day. As I told the previous -- he was part of that unit when he reported that following summer, summer of 2010. So he served alongside with a lot of those people that were there that day and were affected because their friends were injured that day or killed that day.

LEMON: The president has said that you deserved a sense of safety living on the base. Describe how this will impact you and the thousands of people who call Fort Hood home. Will you feel safe in the future there?

ADAMS: I think, to an extent, I have always felt safe, but no safer than living off post. Post doesn't really have any extra security. They check I.D.s at the gate. They do random checks at the gate. And they're trained to look out for things that might signify that someone might be up to something, much like airport security and things like that or police officers.

But there isn't really a whole lot of extra protection for us.

LEMON: OK. Lynn Adams, thank you. We're glad you're safe. We will get back to you if we get any more information.

Lynn Adams is on the base, saying that lockdown is just up. They have been given the all-clear, her husband friends with some of the members of the battalion back in 2009.

I need to tell you that we're awaiting a press conference from the base. And while we await that press conference, I want to talk to CNN's Ed Lavandera, also CNN's Pam Brown, also Bill Gavin, and Michelle Kosinski, CNN's White House correspondent. And Bill Gavin served as an assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office and was responsible for the investigation of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Also with us is Major General Spider Marks. He's a former commander general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center.

Ed Lavandera, first to you. Sources are telling CNN there are multiple fatalities, multiple injuries, including the shooter. What's happening on the base right now?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, just a few moments ago, we heard sirens wailing again here on the Fort Hood installation. It was essentially the all-clear.

These streets that you see behind me had been quiet for the last three hours. But as soon as that siren went off, telling people on the post that they were free to move around again freely, you have seen a long line of cars. These were people who had been waiting to leave the installation since this tragedy unfolded here now about four hours ago.

So that's what we're seeing. The all-clear has been given to everyone on the installation. You're starting to see people once again -- the difficult work continues.

LEMON: OK, Ed.

We're having a little bit with Ed's shot there. We apologize. We will get that fixed for you, because he's important to the story, being at Fort Hood this hour.

Michelle Kosinski, I want to get now to our White House correspondent.

Michelle, President Obama spoke tonight. I want you to take a listen to what he had to say and then you and I will talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Many of the people there have been through multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve 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. And we're going to have to find out exactly what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: A very solemn and serious tone obviously from the president of the United States.

Michelle, the reaction from the White House at this hour?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

Well, the president spoke to the press earlier this evening. At the time, he said he really didn't have a lot of facts, that he was being briefed by the Department of Defense and the FBI. But some of what he said tonight, you know, what you just heard right there, talking about how these soldiers served with valor, many of them multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said they need to feel safe when they're at their home base. We know that the president gives remarks when any number of things happen in the U.S., but he has a real connection with Fort Hood. He saw the effects of this kind of tragedy up close. He met with the families back in 2009, when he eulogized each one of those 13 people who were killed by Major Nidal Hasan.

And some of what he said today echoed his words back then. He said that those Americans, during that speech, they didn't die in a foreign field of battle. They died on American soil and that that fact makes the tragedy more painful and more incomprehensible. They couldn't escape the horror of war, he said, even in the comfort of home.

And tonight during his remarks, he talked about wanting to get to the bottom of this. He said he wanted to assure everyone that, in fact, we would get to the bottom of exactly what happened and that he wanted to make sure that we did everything we could to give those families and that community what they needed to get through this tragedy and its aftermath.

And he talked a lot about the families there, the strength of them, and that those soldiers on the base already sacrifice much for their country, just serving their countries.

LEMON: And, Michelle, I want to tell our viewers that we're looking at Air Force One on the tarmac in Chicago, departing Chicago and leaving to go to Washington, D.C., tonight.

My question to you, Michelle, you mentioned the president eulogized the victims in 2009 and the families speaking to them. Is he expected, do you know at this hour if he will travel to Fort Hood? KOSINSKI: No. We asked that question earlier, also if he would change his schedule tonight, because he had a couple of events planned in Chicago. Earlier, he was in Michigan. He had a busy day of traveling. We know that made it difficult for him to each know what was going on while this was happening.

But once he was briefed, he made those remarks. The White House, his staff, though that he wasn't able to change plans and, if anything did change, that they would keep us informed. So, so far, while they're traveling, we haven't heard anything further on where he goes from here, if he will make a stop possibly tomorrow at Fort Hood.

So we're waiting to hear details like that. We just heard those remarks from him tonight and no further information from the administration either.

LEMON: Michelle Kosinski, as well as the rest of my panel, stick around. We have much more on the breaking news.

We want to tell you, we're awaiting a press conference coming up in a bit. Just -- for those of you just tuning in, there's been a deadly shooting at Fort Hood, believed to be by a soldier, multiple people dead and multiple injuries, this happening earlier this evening. It is our breaking news tonight, a deadly shooting at Fort Hood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Back now with breaking news here on CNN, a deadly shooting at Fort Hood, another one in five years by a member of the military, this one happening earlier this evening.

It is believed that this member of the military, the suspected shooter, brought in a semiautomatic weapon, opened fire, killing several people and injuring several people as well. The injuries are believed to be anywhere from serious to extremely critical.

And we are awaiting a press conference to happen on the base at any moment. At any moment, they will update us live from Fort Hood.

Also, the president, President Barack Obama, speaking out earlier tonight. He's in Chicago. This is Air Force One on the tarmac, in Chicago, about to head back to Washington, D.C. Our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, is keeping watch on that, as well as my other guests who are here to talk about the pertinent information the shooting.

I want to go to Killeen, Texas, and the mayor of Killeen, Dan Corbin. He joins me by phone.

Mayor, your town is closely linked to this base. There's a huge connection there. What do you know about this?

DAN CORBIN, MAYOR OF KILLEEN, TEXAS: Well, good evening.

I just received a call a few minutes ago from the chief of -- General Milley's chief of staff, and he gave me a rundown on the numbers that are going to be presented at the briefing. And I will let General Milley do the briefing on those.

But, as a military community,we experienced the tragedy in November -- on November 5, 2009, where the 13 people were killed and 30 wounded. We have experienced the horrors of war since the first troops deployed to Iraq in 2003. We have had hundreds of soldiers from Fort Hood who have been killed and thousands wounded.

These people have done the bulk of the fighting in the First Cavalry Division and the Fourth Infantry Division, and more soldiers deployed from Fort Hood were killed than from any other installation. So we have experienced the grieving.

As a community, it's like you have been kicked in the gut. It just -- like it can't be happening again. These are our friends. We go to church together. We pray together. We play together. It's a really tight-knit community.

And we have so much respect for these soldiers who put their life on the line for our country, and they -- many of them pay the ultimate sacrifice.

LEMON: And, Mayor, if I can jump in here, because I want to -- as we await that press conference, and you said that you were just given an update by the Lieutenant General Mark Milley. He's the commanding officer there at Fort Hood. And obviously he will go into more details about what happened.

But can we expect these numbers of injured to go up? How many people do we have who have been -- who are fatalities and injuries here?

CORBIN: Well, I think the injured figure will be higher than what you have seen, but I'm not going to divulge any of those numbers because I think General Milley will -- he's an excellent man.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Have you gotten confirmation on who the shooter is?

CORBIN: Well, I don't have that information.

At any rate, I just want you to know that the community here in the Killeen-Fort Hood-Copperas Cove-Harker Heights area is so united with these soldiers, and that we will pray for their recovery, we will pray for their families, and that everybody can recover. It's a resilient community, and these -- if you could get to know these soldiers like our community has gotten to know these soldiers over the years, and their leaders -- their leaders are terrific people.

LEMON: These are people who have spent their -- many, many days, months, years in combat, and who are fighting for our freedom overseas. And now they have to deal with this right here in the heartland, in their own home. Thank you so much. We know that you're grieving. We know that it's very emotional, Mayor. We are going to get back to you. So please take care. We will speak to you Alabama later on here on CNN.

If you're just tuning in, you see that box there on the lower right-hand corner of your screen? It's because we're waiting -- we're awaiting a news conference from Fort Hood to update us on the casualties and the incident that happened there earlier. You heard the mayor of Fort Hood saying we should expect those injury and casualty numbers to go up.

We don't have exact numbers now, but we know that there are multiple deaths, we have been told, and multiple injuries, ranging from serious to very critical. And you're looking at scenes from this at the very height of it when it happened earlier this evening, earlier in the day.

The suspected shooter, let's talk more about him. The Fort Hood shooter is dead. And at least six people, at least six are wounded.

I want to go to CNN's correspondents, Pam Brown, Tom Foreman, along with Bill Gavin and James "Spider" Marks.

Pam, I'm going to start with you. I asked the mayor about the shooter. He said he could not confirm that. what do you know about the shooter in this incident?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course we hope to learn more at this upcoming press conference.

But what we can tell you, what we're learning from sources, Don, is that the shooter used a semiautomatic handgun. So it's believed that the shooter used a handgun. ATF agents have been on the scene for several hours now, so of course they are going to be looking at how that handgun was obtained, where it was purchased, that kind of thing. So it's an ongoing investigation.

Also, we're learning from sources, Don, that the shooter here was wearing combat fatigues. Perhaps that is why the initial belief at this early stage in this investigation is that it was a soldier-on- soldier incident, that this all started between two soldiers.

And, again, as you mentioned, it's believed that the suspect is dead. So at this point, there's been official all-clear there at Fort Hood. At the scene, FBI agents have teamed up with law enforcement there, going building to building. It was on lockdown for several hours, as we know.

But we have confirmed that there has been an official all-clear. Now it's up to investigators to collect intelligence and piece together who the shooter was.

LEMON: Hey, Pam, so, there are other reports. Other news organizations, just transparency here, are reporting the name of the shooter. We don't have that information yet, and we don't want to get ahead of the general? BROWN: Absolutely.

We, of course, are getting our own reporting here, but we're being very cautious and careful to report that, Don, until we hear from the officials and hear what they have to say.

LEMON: Absolutely.

BROWN: When you're in a situation like this, so much of the preliminary information is inaccurate, as we have seen with other stories. And, oftentimes, investigators are sort of in a fog as they try to assess the situation and try to figure out who the shooter is.

So we're being extra careful before we move forward in identifying the shooter.

LEMON: OK.

Tom Foreman, here we go again. You and I reported back in 2009 on Major Nidal Hasan's shooting. I remember being on the anchor desk when it happened. What can you tell us about the base and where the shooting happened?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the base is a big sprawling complex. Of course, as we have said numerous times here, it's really one of the biggest ones out there.

If we can move in here, I can show you and get a sense of it, obviously north of Austin there, south of Dallas. The base itself is basically sitting in this rectangle here. Now, it goes far beyond that, because it was actually founded here to deal with tank combat. They needed a lot of open ground. That's why it's here, about 50,000 soldiers and civilians working here on any given day, any given time.

This is the front gate to the base down here. This is what was locked down quite early in the process. And you can see why, because not only is there a main gate here that gives a lot of access to the base, but you go up here, through another checkpoint, and you get up there, this is actually where the headquarters for the entire post are, right there.

And then if you move from this, not terribly far away, you get down here to the hospital that we have talked about a great deal in all this, Darnall Hospital. And we don't have all the details yet. We're waiting on those, as you pointed out, to see where this started. But there's talk about the medical brigade building being of some interest in all of this.

And remember, Don, earlier on, we heard somebody talking about the degree to which everyone ran from this area when it all happened. Just look at this one area here. This is called -- one area I will highlight here, it is called tank destroyer road. This goes really right through the middle of everything. It speaks to the history of the place.

And it leads, if you were to follow it all the way down here, to the area down here, where Major Nidal Hasan did his shooting some years ago. The building where that happened, the main building was scheduled to be torn down after his trial was done.

But I do want to point out something, Don, that we mentioned earlier, Yes, here we go again. And for the people of Killeen and this base, it's not just this time. It goes back to the Luby's massacre back in 1991. It was a cafeteria out there, and that, although it happened on the civilian side of the community, many people on the base very, very strongly tied to that. And at the time, that was the biggest massacre this country had ever known. It's since been eclipsed by both Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, but a tremendously horrible event that affected this base in a tremendous way.

These people have been through an awful lot, Don.

LEMON: Yes, you're right. I was just going to say it affected not only the base, but many people who live there, as you heard from the mayor just a short time ago.

FOREMAN: True.

LEMON: Tom, stand by.

I want to get to General Spider Marks.

General, after the shooting by Nidal Hasan in 2009, again, we talked about that. We talked about additional security measures put into place there. How could this happen again? That's the question.

BRIG. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's too early to tell, Don, exactly somewhat took place.

I think, as has been described, this is a huge installation, approximately 45,000 to 50,000 employees. Those are soldiers that work there, plus their family members, so you're in excess of 90,000 folks who are on this post as a matter of routine.

And getting on and off the post is a very controlled event. But if there's no leading indicator, any intelligence that would have some of those, whoever the police are, the security police, the guards, to inspect a vehicle, to open the trunk and go after and to look around a little bit, it would be a normal day for anybody to drive onto post, and in this particular incident, the soldier may have had that weapon, and that's how he brought it on post.

I think the question to be asked right now is, we have talked about this medical brigade that is adjacent to the hospital. I think the question is this. I think this might have been a warrior transition brigade, which is where you place soldiers that are leaving the military for some reason other than a normal departure from service.

So the question I would ask is, was he a part of the cadre? That is to say, was he part of the unit to facilitate this transition out? Or was he in a process of being transitioned himself?

LEMON: Being transitioned. And what do you call that again, someone who is being transitioned out? Again, you said a what?

MARKS: It would be a less than a normal type of a transition. When a soldier departs the military under any circumstances, they leave directly from their parent unit.

LEMON: OK.

It's important to point out too that you grew up on this base. This story is especially close to you.

MARKS: Yes, it is.

LEMON: And you think about the thousands of people who live there and it's a very tight-knit community, even though thousands of people live there.

MARKS: It's an amazingly tight community.

The mayor just indicated -- the mayor from Killeen just indicated those communities of Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, and Killeen are incredibly tight. They always have been. These are very rich connections that have been in place for years and years.

Tom indicated that Fort Hood was formed in advance of deployment and preparation for World War II, because the terrain is so similar to that that you would see in Northern France. These connections have existed for such a long time. The community is almost indistinguishable from the fort.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much. Stand by, General Spider Marks.

Bill Gavin now, how can a base, Bill, with thousands of troops, thousands of weapons ever totally be secure?

BILL GAVIN, FORMER NEW YORK FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, Don, I don't know if it ever can be totally secure, as evidenced by a number of incidents that have occurred.

Whether someone came from outside the base on or they were already on the base, it's never going to be totally secure. Whenever we have any kind of a base and whenever we have any kind of a structure, a facility, there will be somebody who can figure a way around the security that's there to gain entrance. That's the pity of the whole thing.

LEMON: So then the question is, as I asked General Marks, we talked about the precautions put in place, then what is there to do? Obviously, there can always be improvements. You said it cannot be totally safe, but something has to give.

GAVIN: Something does have to give.

What they will do is, they will change procedures, and that's always a good idea to -- they will have a protocol, and they have a protocol now, I'm absolutely sure, on the base to handle every situation that could arise. You heard them announcing today this was not a drill, this was an actual event, stay in the house. That's part of their protocol.

The hospitals would gear up as part of the protocol, the response from the local police departments part the protocol.

LEMON: OK.

GAVIN: So, all of this establishes that way.

LEMON: All right, I have to get to a break here.

But November 5, 2009, and here we are April 2, 2014, and we're reliving the same thing over again.

We are going to take you to a live news conference at Fort Hood moments away. Don't go anywhere. They're gearing up. And we will bring it to you, the breaking news right here on CNN after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Breaking news here on CNN. We're awaiting a press conference at any moment now at Fort Hood, Texas. There you see live pictures of reporters and the soldiers getting ready to speak. It is believed that the commanding officer, Lt. General Mark Milley, will give that press conference and update on the number of injured and also the number of killed.

This incident happened earlier today by a soldier. We are told that the general will update us on exactly who it is. It happened near the medical building, near the Fort Hood medical facility. Again, multiple injuries and multiple deaths. At any moment now, we will get an update.

And remember, something very similar happened back in 2009, involving Nidal Hasan.

I want to go now to Xavier Amador. He is a psychologist from the Leap Institute who interviewed Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people and injured 30 plus people at Fort Hood in 2009. And he joins me now by telephone.

Doctor Amador, were you surprised when you heard about another shooting at Fort Hood, Texas?

XAVIER AMADOR, PSYCHOLOGIST, LEAP INSTITUTE (via phone): I can't say I was entirely surprised, no. No, I wasn't.

LEMON: Is this because of the stress that our soldiers are under? Is this because of PTSD? Why aren't you surprised?

AMADOR: Well, first, a lot of your guests have been talking about security. It's impossible to secure a fort of that size. I mean, there are over 45,000, 50,000 active soldiers and their families, 8,000 civilians. I've gone on that base numerous times. I was never searched, nor the car was searched. It's not a place you can make entirely safe from gunfire.

But in addition to that, you know, in the wake of Major Hasan's shooting in 2009, the military leaders acknowledged that we have rampant emotional problems in our returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. Our suicide rate alone from Iraqi veterans is 11 percent higher than what we see in Vietnam. Eleven percent higher. As many as 133 vets suicide a year.

So, you know, there's been a lot of -- a lot of focus, a lot of -- I'm not saying what happened here, but we do know that -- what we think we know from the reporting is that this was a suicide, a murder- suicide. If that's the case, it certainly raises the specter, the question of the rampant mental health issues that the Army is trying to address with programs like Real Warriors awareness programs. But awareness programs are not enough. You've got to get people with these difficulties engaged, involved in treatment. If indeed, that...

LEMON: Doctor, if indeed, because we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. We're not exactly sure why. But anyone who opens fire on either themselves or someone else is obviously -- has some sort of issues, regardless of what they are. Let's leave it at that.

But it sounds to me that you're saying you're surprised that it doesn't happen more often, considering the stress that our men and women in uniform are under.

AMADOR: No, I'm not saying that. I was actually answering your question, Don. You asked me am I surprised it happened again.

LEMON: Yes.

AMADOR: And that's why I was focusing so much on the mental health and the suicide data that we have. So I'm not surprised.

Do I think, you know, the Department of Defense is addressing this problem? Absolutely. I think Veterans Affairs is doing a great job. I think there's a lot more that can be done. Is that what happened here? We're going to find out in the days and weeks ahead.

LEMON: Talk to me about Nidal Hasan. You worked with him.

AMADOR: Well, you know, I hesitate to draw parallels between these two events. First of all, we don't know what happened today.

What Nidal Hasan has said publicly I certainly can comment on. This for him was a statement. It was a political statement; it was a religious statement. He is somebody who was very dissatisfied with what was about to happen to him. He did not want to deploy for religious reasons.

But he's also somebody whose whole story never really was told. Somebody who had a lot of vulnerabilities, that -- I'll just speak in very broad strokes, that because it was not a full trial, because he pled guilty, never came to light.

And I think there were missed opportunities there to intervene in Nidal Hasan's case. Many of which are quite public. I don't know that that tragedy actually needed to happen.

LEMON: He was convicted, we should say, of 13 points of murder and 13 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

Thank you. I appreciate it, Dr. Xavier Amador, shedding some insight not only on Nidal Hasan, who did a very similar incident back in 2009, but also the stress that our men and women in uniform face, not only on the battlefield but once they get home.

I want to go now to CNN's Evan Perez and also Bill Gavin and Spider Marks.

Thank you so much for joining us. Evan, I want to get you in here really quickly. What can you report about the shooter in this incident? Do you know anything?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, Don. At this point the authorities are still trying to gather some information. We know that they're doing some searches right now of the apartment belonging -- belonging to the person they believe is the shooter. This is also in Killeen, Texas, which is just on the outside of the base there.

We know that the shooting appears to have begun in the motor pool area. Again, this is also on base according to authorities who have -- who have been to the scene there.

Again, as you said, the shooter is a soldier. He was wearing combat fatigues. And again, all these people that were injured. It's still unclear exactly what the motive was. It's not clear that they haven't ruled out terrorism or any other motives. They don't -- so far, have not found any kind of indication that this shooter, that this individual had any nexus to terrorism, but it is something, obviously, that they're going to be investigating in the next few days.

He did use a semiautomatic handgun and managed to -- appears to have injured a lot of people before he killed himself, according to the authorities at the scene there.

LEMON: Can you tell me real quickly, because I have a pertinent question for General Marks. You may be able to help out with this. But what are -- what are U.S. officials doing to help military officials there on the base?

PEREZ: Well, you know, this is a military base, so obviously, the Defense Department has the jurisdiction. They're going to have their own investigators at the scene. The FBI is there. The ATF is going to be doing some traces of the hand gun to see where it was bought, how long ago.

That kind of can tell you perhaps it is there was some premeditation to this. It can tell you perhaps, you know, how long the suspect was -- was planning this event. So it is something that they're assisting the military officials who really have the jurisdiction.

And then obviously, you know, the first order of business is to take care of these families and the people who are injured and to make sure everybody is OK. Clear the place to make sure that there is no other hazards there and take care of those people who obviously were affected by this incident.

LEMON: And General Marks, what might -- what can you tell us about U.S. officials helping military officials in this particular case?

GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: There's a -- there's a tremendous handshake that's already taken place between the Criminal Investigative Division, the CID within the Army, to include the military police. They'll isolate the area. They'll ensure it's not contaminated. And the handoff has already taken place with the FBI and the ATF.

We'll know within hours as much as we can in terms of where this individual came from, and we'll be able to go through all his kit. We'll be able to go through his room downtown or if he lives on post. We'll figure all that out.

What we won't be able to do is interrogate him. We won't be able to get into his head to figure out what motivated him.

LEMON: All right. Stand by. Bill Gavin, we don't know about the shooter's motivation. You heard General Marks there saying they'll go through his personal things, try to figure out some sort of motivation. Probably -- obviously go through his personal things and all of those things.

But if he was troubled or if he was struggling in some way, can the military ever properly screen every single person on a base?

BILL GAVIN, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I don't know if they can -- I think it's going to depend upon the degree of troubles the individual might have. What the external manifestations of that trouble might be. Some of it might be masked very well. Some of it, there isn't any external signs.

For him to do what he did today, I don't know if there's a single target that he had in mind to murder and the rest of the people are collateral damage or he had multiple targets. It's just so difficult. We just don't have enough substantiated facts to support any kind of a conclusion right now.

LEMON: All right. Stand by, everyone. I want to get back now to CNN's Ed Lavandera, who is at Fort Hood, Texas, right now.

Ed Lavandera, give us a sense of what's going on on the base. We know that there is a press conference about to happen soon. We can see the microphones there at the bottom of your screen. Ed Lavandera, update us on what you know.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're told that the commanding general here at Ford Hood will be coming out shortly, and that should be happening here in the relatively short period, within the next half hour or so.

But it was interesting, Don, just about 35 minutes ago, a siren started blaring across the Fort Hood installation once again. I was talking about this earlier, but our shot was breaking up, so I don't know if it was clear what I was saying.

But there has been -- It was eerily quiet around the installation here as we pulled up tonight. No cars moving around, a security checkpoint several hundred yards away from where it normally is. Then after that, the all-clear and a long line of cars coming out of the post here. These are people that had been on lockdown since around 5 p.m. Central Time, when this tragedy started unfolding.

So things starting, at last, to move around more normally, although this is a far from normal night here in central Texas. And we know that some of the desperate work is going on at various hospitals here in the area that are treating some of the victims, and we're hoping to hear an update on those conditions. The last we heard from one of the local hospitals was that there were several victims that were in critical condition. So that's a very serious situation those doctors are dealing with.

LEMON: Ed...

LAVANDERA: ... news here to report shortly.

LEMON: Stand by. Let me jump in here. I just want to tell our viewers at home, again, we're awaiting a press conference. You see it there on the bottom of your screen. We can pull it up full.

Officials at Fort Hood are about to hold a press conference at any moment now to update us on the situation.

We heard from the mayor of Killeen, Texas, which is the town that's -- Killeen, Texas, that is -- Killeen, Texas, which is a town surrounding this base. That we should expect the number of injuries and the number of fatalities to go up. That will be announced by Lt. General Mark Milley, who is the commanding officer at Fort Hood.

I want to go now to Spider Marks again. Spider Marks, you know, again, a very similar situation happened back in 2009, and you had the commanding officer coming out, of course, then. It was such a surprise that it happened then. But now five years later, we're dealing with the same thing. Take us forward to this press conference and what we can expect to happen, from the conference and then from then on to follow.

MARKS: Don, good question. General Milley's responsibility at this point, and he gets it in spades, is to share every bit of information he has in terms of what he knows occurred, and what resources are going to be available to uncover what those gaps are. And his primary focus will be one of embracing the community and ensuring that the family members and the community outside the gate, the community within the post, get it all together and share in the same type...

LEMON: OK. Stand by, General Marks. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Lt. General Mark A. Milley, the commander of U.S. 3rd Corps. 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 commander of 3rd Corps, Lt. General Mark A. Milley.

LT. GENERAL MARK A. MILLEY, COMMANDER, 3RD CORPS: Good evening. I'd 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 p.m. today, a soldier assigned to 13th Sustainment Command Expeditionary fired shots at individuals within the unit areas here, within the 1st Medical Brigade area and the 49th Transportation Battalion area.

The post immediately went into lockdown. And we have now lifted the lockdown as of about 30 or 45 minutes ago.

Within 15 minutes, first responders, 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. The investigation continues.

An investigation by various law-enforcement officers at federal level, from ATF and FBI, at the state level, from the Texas Rangers, the Texas state police, along with local law enforcement, 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. And ensure that they have the best care and counseling available.

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 civilians and the families of this fort who have served so bravely in combat over the last 13 years in both Iraq and Afghanistan are strong, and we will get through this.

Thanks to all who have supported us. Thanks to local communities who have supported us over the last several hours and many years. And thanks to also, specifically, to Scott and White for their excellent medical care and their ability to handle additional casualties. With that, I will take your questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General, do we know a motive? Do we know what set this man off? Can you identify him?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is his name?

MILLEY: At this point, his next of kin has not 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 until that's been done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he suffering from PTSD?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you walk us through what happened?

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, opened fire, got into a vehicle, fired from a vehicle. Got out of the vehicle, walked into another building and opened fire again. And then was engaged by local law enforcement here at Fort Hood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he begin this thing with an argument? We heard that there was an argument in the WTU, and that is how this started and that he also was using a semiautomatic handgun of some kind.

MILLEY: He was using a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol that was purchased recently in the local area. I am not aware of an argument at the WTU. There are some initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas, but don't have any indication of an argument in the WTU.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) WTU?

MILLEY: He has not been assigned here to the WTU.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: That we don't know. We're checking his background. He recently arrived at Fort Hood in February from another installation, and we're checking with the other 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 would expect us to do are being done right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Welcome back. Hang on just a second. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were all of the injured soldiers victims of the gunfire or something else?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was this soldier 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me exactly where his body was found? (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: His body was found in the parking lot, where he was engaged by military police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe how they engaged this man?

MILLEY: A 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 9 mill, and she pulled out her weapon. And then she engaged, and then he put the weapon to his head; and he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you able...

MILLEY: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you able to rule out terrorism?

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 the appropriate federal agencies and all of the various organizations searching all the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and all the normal associations 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Say again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have not ruled out terrorism?

MILLEY: We are not ruling in or out anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they here, sir, or living in some other part of the country?

MILLEY: They're in the local area. That's correct.

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

MILLEY: I do not know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many total weapons did he have?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: If I said 9 millimeter, I misspoke. It's a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson. Don't know how much ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What normally goes on in that building?

MILLEY: It's a headquarters building where they conduct the day- to-day administration of the medical brigade and then in the other building, they conduct the day-to-day administration of the transportation battalion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this a building he would have gone to regularly?

MILLEY: Yes, 49th Transportation Battalion, yes, he would have gone there on occasion for administration purposes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: I did not say his rank or his name. And I'll do that when his family is appropriately notified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What type of treatment was he undergoing?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not assigned to the WTU at the time?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General, the female officer who engaged him (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you say (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: He was under -- 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, PTSD.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he diagnosed with traumatic brain injury?

MILLEY: There are reports -- I don't know if he was diagnosed in the clinical sense. There are reports that he self-reported a traumatic brain injury previously, coming back from the Iraq...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he on medications?

MILLEY: He was on medication. That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Yes, he was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: He was not a wounded warrior. He was not wounded in action to our records. No Purple Heart, not wounded in action in that regard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said he came from another installation in February. Can you tell us which one it is?

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What state, sir?

MILLEY: Sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What state?

MILLEY: What state?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state where the other installation was.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: All of the wounded and killed were military.

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

MILLEY: The -- 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: General, what was your reaction when you heard there had been another shooting at Fort Hood?

MILLEY: Immediate reaction was casualties. 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the FBI already on the scene (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) In light of what's happened today, are you concerned that those programs have gaps in them?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General, we know that there are -- over the years now, we've had three -- this is the third one that we've had. First Hasan, then (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and now this. Are you concerned, beyond the fact that this is not the first time, are you concerned that this place is becoming a target for people for whatever reason? I mean, would your reaction would have been when this began, not again?

MILLEY: My reaction was not "not again" here. My reaction was to immediately make sure we had a read on the casualties, immediately secure the site, and immediately look for one or more shooters. And to secure the installation. I wasn't thinking about "not again" or any of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think now when you think about it?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) respond?

MILLEY: You're not allowed to carry concealed weapons on base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soldiers being allowed to carry a concealed weapon on base, do you think that should change?

MILLEY: No, I don't think soldiers should have concealed weapons on base. We have law-enforcement agents. We're trained professionals, and I don't endorse carrying concealed weapons on base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long did it take law enforcement to reach the base?

MILLEY: It was within minutes. An exact time, probably 10 to 15, maybe, max.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: I think the law enforcement acted very rapidly and swiftly, given the nature of the circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: I'm not going to get into a debate with you on carrying weapons on a military installation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Say again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us the gender of the wounded?

MILLEY: No, I don't have the specifics, and I'd rather not go into that. The shooter was a male, and the officer that engaged the shooter was a female. But the other injured, no, I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Say again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Probably about 15 minutes, 20 minutes. We don't have an exact timeline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk a little bit about how these changes made to security procedures in the wake of the Hasan shooting and the response to today's shooting?

MILLEY: I think the response from the law enforcement and the medical folks displayed clear lessons learned from the previous case, and I think that 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: You mentioned that the suspect bought the weapon. How much indication do you have that it was premeditation here? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was there any timing of it?

MILLEY: I do not know. And that will be part of the investigation. Don't know any idea about the premeditation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MILLEY: Last question. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 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 your support. We will hold a regular press conference daily until -- 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 up.

I just ask for all your thoughts and prayers for the fallen and for the wounded in this particular case. Thank you very much.

LEMON: All right. That is a press conference being held there by Lieutenant General Mark A. Malley [SIC]. He is -- Mark A. Milley, excuse me. He is the commanding officer at Fort Hood, Texas. Telling us about the person who opened fire, saying it happened at -- in the medical area, got into a car, and then got out, started shooting at two different places, was eventually taken down by a female member of the military.

We are being told by the commander there that he had behavioral health and mental health issues. He was being treated for that. But not being treated for posttraumatic stress disorder.

According to the general, he opened fire with a .45 caliber semiautomatic Smith and Wesson. When he was engaged by the female officer, he pulled it from under his jacket and shot himself. That is according to the military commander.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.