Obama says 'heartbroken' over Fort Hood shooting

CHICAGO Thu Apr 3, 2014 4:36am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.

A soldier shot dead three people and injured at least 16 before taking his own life at the base, the site of another deadly rampage in 2009, U.S. officials said.

"We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," Obama told reporters in Chicago, where he was traveling for Democratic fundraisers.

"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again."

On his flight back to Washington, Obama held a conference call with the Defense Department and FBI about the shooting, the White House said. Participants included Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, and FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano.

Obama directed his team to do everything it could to help those affected by the shooting, the White House said.

In 2009 a former Army psychiatrist shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 others in a shooting spree at Fort Hood.

"Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago," Obama told reporters.

"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," he said.

Obama noted that many of the military members at the base had done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"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," he said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (2)
Cleveland2012 wrote:
It is pretty sad to see soldiers going crazy and shooting each other. Military life can be really harsh these days, for whatever reasons, and we are seeing the stress come out in horrific ways.

Apr 02, 2014 8:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
theovulator wrote:
Heartbroken? I’m dubious.

Why is it that Obama always seems to be at a fundraiser when something happens?

Obama sure does like air force one. He flies around from fundraiser to fundraiser, only costing the taxpayers something like six figures an hour.

I imagine instead of heartbroken, he’s wringing his hands in anticipation of how he might best proceed, after consulting with his many advisers, concerning the best approach to project forth with the most opportune political response to this incident.

“How can I use this incident to press forward with one of my political agendas? And at the same time appear moved and emotional and appeal to my base”

After all, as Rom used to say, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Maybe some photo ops hugging the grieved?

Apr 03, 2014 2:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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