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Obama says 'heartbroken' over Fort Hood shooting

Source: Reuters - Thu, 3 Apr 2014 05:25 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Updates with Obama conference call with FBI, Defense Department)

By Jeff Mason

CHICAGO, April 2 (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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