[Video of Obama below. Video report below.] [This post follows our earlier story here.] Updated: President Barack Obama promised “answers to every single question” about today’s shooting at Fort Hood after an attack by three U.S. service members left 12 soldiers dead and 31 wounded.Speaking at the Interior Department, Obama said he had already conferred with Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the attack and would continue to receive updates.
“We don’t yet know all the details,” Obama said. “What we do know is that a number of American soldiers have been killed and even more have been wounded in a horrific outburst of violence.”
“These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to the rest of us on a daily basis,” the president continued. “It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”
Obama’s remarks came at the conclusion of the Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Interior Department and the White House. He told his listeners – leaders from many of the 564 federally recognized American Indian tribes – that he had discarded his prepared comments in light of the breaking news.
“I planned to make some broader remarks,” he said after brief introductory comments. “But as some of you might have heard there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.”
Prior to the president’s remarks, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone confirmed to reporters in Texas that the shooting had been carried out by military personnel, one of whom had been killed in the attack.
Reports are that the assailant was Major Malik Nadal Hasan.
Both chambers Congress held moments of silence to mark the shooting. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison requested that the Senate briefly halt its business “in memory of 11 great soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, who have been shot down this afternoon at the base.”
“I know all of us love our military and appreciate everything they do,” Hutchison said. “For them to have to suffer even more tragedy like this, as they are on their way to protect us, is unthinkable.”
Rep. John Carter, the congressman who represents Fort Hood, asked for a moment of silence in the House.
“It is a real tragedy that these families are losing loved ones,” he said.
Earlier, Hutchison told Fox News she had learned the dead shooter was scheduled for deployment to Iraq, and “I think that there was some measure of being upset about that.”
At a press conference in Denton, Texas, Gov. Rick Perry said authorities had restored order at Fort Hood and said he may head to the Army base personally as soon as his presence would not be “a distraction.”
“The situation is under hand and now they’re going through the process of identifying the victims and, of course, identifying their families,” Perry said. “Keep these people in your prayers.”
A Department of Homeland Security official said a swarm of security and law enforcement agencies were coordinating their response to the assault.
“DOD, DHS, FBI and other members of the intelligence community are assessing and gathering facts about the shootings,” said spokeswoman Sara Kuban. “Because this is early in this event, we cannot at this time confirm motives behind these shootings.”
Click below to watch President Obama’s remarks:
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Click below to watch a video report of today’s attack:
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