POLITICS
04/02/2014 11:08 pm ET | Updated Apr 02, 2014

Michael McCaul Supports Concealed Weapons At Fort Hood In Wake Of Shooting

Hours after a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, left at least four people dead on Wednesday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said he supports allowing members of the military to carry concealed weapons on military bases.

McCaul, appearing on Fox News, said he believes "if you’re trained for combat, you ought to be able to carry a weapon."

A gunman killed and wounded multiple people at the Fort Hood military base Wednesday before shooting himself to death, authorities said. The base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009 that killed 13 people.

Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked McCaul about a bill introduced shortly after the 2009 shooting that would have allowed members of the military who have permits for concealed weapons to carry them on base. The bill failed to advance.

"This is the deal, Megyn, is that al Qaeda and terrorists and jihadists are targeting our military bases, that is a fact," McCaul said. "And if they are trained in warfare, they can carry weapons in warfare, it seems to me there is some logic to allowing them to carry weapons on a military base where they can defend themselves."

McCaul said the "problem" in both Fort Hood shootings was that members of the military were not armed, and thus unable to "defend themselves."

"So I think the policy makers, Congress, we need to revisit this procedure, this policy to see if we should arm them so they can better protect themselves," McCaul said.

He faces opposition from the Fort Hood commander. "I don't think soldiers should have concealed weapons on base," Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said at a news conference Wednesday night.

Click here to read more on the shooting at Fort Hood.

04/04/2014 4:57 PM EDT

U.S. Military Official: Mental Health Of Shooter Not Direct Factor In Shooting

The Associated Press reports:

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The senior officer at Fort Hood says the mental condition of the soldier who fatally shot three soldiers and wounded 16 others earlier this week was not the "direct precipitating factor" in the shooting.

The comments Friday by Lt. Gen. Mark Milley came a day after he said Spc. Ivan (ee-VAHN') Lopez's mental condition appeared to be an underlying factor.

Milley said Friday that an "escalating argument" precipitated the attack.

Authorities say their investigation has found Lopez had an altercation Wednesday with soldiers in his unit that prompted the shooting.

04/04/2014 4:36 PM EDT

U.S. Military Officials Update On Fort Hood Shooting Investigation

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley and other U.S. Military officials provided additional details on the investigation of the Fort Hood shooting, saying that while the process was ongoing, the rampage was believed to have been preceded by a "escalating argument" involving the alleged shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez. Officials said that the alleged shooter's mental condition was not the "direct precipitating factor" to the shooting. He said that the alleged shooter's mental health would be fully investigated.

An official said that at the time it is believed that there was "No premeditated targeting of any specific individuals" in the shooting. The weapon used in the shooting had been recovered, and the official said the weapon was purchased on March 1 outside of the base.

The Fort Hood officials said that 10 of the 16 wounded who were admitted to hospital facilities following the shooting had been released and returned to duty.

04/04/2014 4:25 PM EDT

U.S. Military Officials Identify Shooting Victims

In a press briefing, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley identified the three soldiers killed in the Fort Hood shooting: Sgt. First Class Daniel M. Ferguson, age 39; Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney Rodriguez, age 38; Sgt. Timothy W. Owens, age 37.

Read HuffPost's report here.

04/04/2014 2:03 PM EDT

Official: Alleged Fort Hood Shooter Was In Dispute Over Leave Before Rampage

The New York Times reports:

The soldier at Fort Hood who killed or wounded 19 of his fellow Army members on Wednesday had a dispute with his superiors over their denial of a leave request shortly before the shooting rampage, a law enforcement official said Friday.

The report goes on:

Investigators were also looking into Specialist Lopez’s dispute with Army superiors who had denied his request for leave. He met with Fort Hood officials about the denial on Wednesday shortly before the shooting started and had been clearly agitated and disrespectful after the meeting, the law enforcement official said. It was unclear why he wanted to take time off, but it appeared to involve his family.

Read the report from The New York Times here.

04/04/2014 1:58 PM EDT

Father Of Fort Hood Gunman: He 'Must Not Have Been in His Right Mind'

NBC has released a statement from the family of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez.

Facing the tragedy that occurred on April 2 in Fort Hood, TX, the family of the Puerto Rican soldier Iván López is concerned and asks for prayers for those affected and deceased by the unfortunate incidents. Iván López, father of the soldier, is still in shock and described his son as a calm family man, a young worker who always looked out for the well being of his home and a good son.

"This situation has caused great pain. I ask for prayers for the affected families, even more so when there is still an ongoing investigation. My son must not have been in his right mind, he wasn't like that," said Iván López, Sr.

As an active soldier he defended the nation and received medals. He also worked honorably as a policeman on the island. According to his father, the soldier was under medical treatment and the passing of his mother, his grandfather and the recent changes when transferring to the base surely affected his existing condition because of his experiences as a soldier. No more comments shall be made during the investigation conducted by authorities.

Read the NBC report here.

04/03/2014 8:33 PM EDT

Defense Secretary: Too Soon To Draw Safety Conclusions

AP reports:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it's too soon to draw any broad conclusions about safety at U.S. military bases after the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

He said Thursday that as the investigation unfolds, the Pentagon will continue to take a close look at any new lessons that can be learned from Wednesday's tragedy and implement any needed changes to base security.

Read the full story here.

04/03/2014 7:08 PM EDT

6 Shooting Victims Discharged From Hospital

04/03/2014 5:54 PM EDT

AP Identifies Victim Of Fort Hood Shooting

One of the victims of Wednesday's shooting has been identified as U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Owens. His family told the AP that he was a native of Effingham, Ill.

04/03/2014 5:38 PM EDT

Fort Hood Does Little To Keep Out Firearms

According to the NYT, Fort Hood does very little to keep guns off the military base.

"Fort Hood’s weapons rules for soldiers who are not police officers rely in large part on the honor system," the Times reports.

The base does not require entrants to go through a metal detector or any similar screening, a source told the Times.

For more, click here.

04/03/2014 4:52 PM EDT

Family Of Fort Hood Gunman Reportedly Didn't Know He Was Being Treated For Mental Problems

He [Lopez] sought help for depression and anxiety and was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, military officials said. But Army Secretary John McHugh said Thursday that a psychiatrist last month found no violent or suicidal tendencies. The soldier was prescribed Ambien for a sleeping problem.

He had no apparent links to extremists, McHugh said.

Glidden Lopez Torres, who is not related to the gunman but identified himself as a family friend speaking on behalf of the soldier's family in Puerto Rico, said Lopez's mother died of a heart attack in November.

Lopez was close to her and was apparently upset that he was granted only a short leave — 24 hours, later extended to two days — to go to her funeral, which was delayed for nearly a week so he could make it, the family spokesman said.

The family was not aware that Lopez was receiving any treatment for mental problems, the spokesman said.

Read more here from The Associated Press.

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