President Barack Obama delivered a brief statement about the Fort Hood military base shooting during a stop in Chicago. Obama took a break from attending two fund-raisers to talk to the media after he was informed of an active gunman on the same base that saw tragedy in 2009.
“We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again,” Obama said, cautioning “I don’t want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what happened.”
He called the situation “fluid right now.”
“Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago,” the president said.
He credited military and their families who “sacrifice so much on behalf of our freedom.”
“They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe. … Obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again and we’re going to have to find out exactly what happened,” he said
By the time the president gave his remarks, the shooter was reported to be dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound.
Obama gave his statement from a room inside the Chicago Cut Steakhouse, where he had just sat for a roundtable for the Democratic National Committee.
He was scheduled to attend a second fund-raiser at a private residence in Lincoln Park later.
Initial news reports indicated there was an active shooter on the Texas Army base and that injuries had been reported. The base is the same spot where a mass shooting occurred in 2009 and 13 people were killed.
Here is a copy of Obama’s statement, supplied by pool reporters in Chicago:
“I just got off the phone with the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to get the latest on the shooting at fort hood. Obviously, we’re all following it closely. The situation is fluid right now, but my national security team in close contact not just with Defense Department but with the FBI. They are working with folks on ground to determine exactly what happened and ensure that everyone is secure. Want to assure all of us we going to get to bottom of what happened. Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopened pain of what happened at Fort Hoo 5 years ago.
“We know these familes, we know the service to their country and the sacrifices that they make. Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community and we are going to do everything we can to make the community of fort hood has what it needs to deal with a tough situation but also any potential aftermath. We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. I don’t what on the comment on facts until we know exactly what happened.
“But just for now I would hope that everyone across the country keep the families of Fort Hood in our thoughts and our prayers. The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, they served with distinction. 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. We need to find out exactly what happened.”
He also said Pentagon would have further briefings as more details are known.