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Fort Lee shooting

Soldier dies after barricading herself in Fort Lee office

By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM
Associated Press

FORT LEE, Va. - An enraged soldier barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia Army base, threw objects around the office and then fatally shot herself in the head Monday as law enforcement officials tried to negotiate with her, authorities said.

The soldier, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead after being taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, according to a news release issued by Fort Lee, where the Monday morning shooting took place. No other injuries were reported.

The heavily trafficked base went on lockdown while the soldier was barricaded on the third floor of the four-story building that houses the Army's Combined Arms Support Command. About 1,100 people were inside, but no one else was hurt, Fort Lee officials said.

The Army said an alert was sounded across the post and those in the building either took shelter inside or evacuated as directed. Fort Lee police responded within two minutes of being alerted, the news release said.

``This situation could've been worse,'' said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, who took over as commanding general of the support command Friday.

The soldier was a sergeant 1st class who has been in the Army for 14 years and at Fort Lee for three, Lyons said. Her gun was not a service weapon, he said. Army officials said they would not release her identity until 24 hours after notifying her next of kin. They did not say if that had happened yet.

``We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges she had to resort to those kinds of actions,'' Lyons said.

He said officials did not know whether she was being treated for any mental health issues and could not speculate whether drugs or alcohol might have been a factor. Lyons described the soldier as upset and enraged during the incident but said he couldn't say whether that was consistent with her personality.

Fort Lee reopened and normal operations resumed within an hour of the shooting, Lyons said, with trucks and cars entering and exiting the base. The main gate _ closest to the scene _ continued to control traffic, but other gates were operating as normal.

The daily population at Fort Lee _ 25 miles south of Richmond and 130 miles from Washington _ is about 34,000, with members from all branches, their families, civilians and contractors. Fort Lee's website says the installation has seen enormous growth and renovations over the past decade as a result of realignment and closures of bases across the U.S.

Army officials initially labeled Monday's incident an ``active shooter'' situation. The Department of Homeland Security uses the term to describe someone actively trying to kill people, usually in populated areas, with no pattern of choosing victims.

The shooting is the fourth violent act at a Virginia military installation this year. In March, a civilian truck driver shot and killed a sailor aboard a Navy destroyer at Naval Station Norfolk before he was shot and killed by Navy security.

In June, authorities said, a sailor repeatedly stabbed another near Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. The same installation was placed on lockdown in April when a sailor shot and killed himself inside a barracks there.

Monday's lockdown came days after Fort Lee announced in its official newspaper that a new mass warning and emergency notification system would be activated in the coming weeks. The system allows users to input phone numbers, email addresses or pop-up alerts on any computer that's part of the main Fort Lee network, the newspaper said. Officials said Monday that the system is not yet in place.

___

Associated Press Writer Brock Vergakis contributed to this report from Norfolk.
  • Earlier: 

    FORT LEE, Va. - An enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office inside a major command's headquarters, throwing objects and then shooting herself in the head as law enforcement officials tried to negotiate with her, the Army said Monday. 

    The heavily-trafficked base went on lockdown while she was barricaded on the third floor of the four-story building that houses the Army's Combined Arms Support Command. About 1,100 people were inside, but no one else was hurt, officials at Fort Lee said. 

    ``This situation could've been worse,'' said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, who took over as commanding general of CASC on Friday.

    The Army did not identify the soldier or give her condition. She was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, which confirmed that it received a patient from Fort Lee but did not provide other details. 

    The soldier is a sergeant 1st class who has been in the Army for 14 years and at Fort Lee for three, Lyons said. Her gun was not a service weapon, he said.

    ``We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges she had to resort to those kinds of actions,'' Lyons said. 

    He said officials did not know whether she was being treated for any mental health issues and could not speculate whether drugs or alcohol might have been a factor. Lyons described the soldier as upset and enraged during the incident but said he couldn't say whether that was consistent with her personality. 

    Fort Lee reopened and normal operations resumed within an hour of the incident, Lyons said, with trucks and cars entering and exiting the base. The main gate _ closest to the scene _ continued to control traffic, but other gates were operating as normal. 

    The daily population at Fort Lee _ 25 miles south of Richmond and 130 miles from Washington _ is about 34,000, with members from all branches, their families, civilians and contractors. Fort Lee's website says the installation has seen enormous growth and renovations over the past decade as a result of realignment and closures of bases across the U.S. 

    Army officials initially labeled Monday's incident an ``active shooter'' situation. The Department of Homeland Security uses the term to describe someone actively trying to kill people, usually in populated areas, with no pattern of choosing victims.

    The shooting is the fourth violent act at a Virginia military installation this year. In March, a civilian truck driver shot and killed a sailor aboard a Navy destroyer at Naval Station Norfolk before he was shot and killed by Navy security. 

    In June, authorities said a sailor repeatedly stabbed another near Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. The same installation was placed on lockdown in April when a sailor shot and killed himself inside a barracks there.

    Monday's lockdown came days after Fort Lee announced in its official newspaper that a new mass warning and emergency notification system would be activated in the coming weeks. The system allows users to input phone numbers, email addresses or pop-up alerts on any computer that's part of the main Fort Lee network, the newspaper said. Officials said Monday that the system is not yet in place.

    ___

    Associated Press writer Brock Vergakis contributed to this report from Norfolk.
  • Earlier:

    FORT LEE, Va. - A female soldier with a gun inside a key building turned the weapon on herself, causing an injury, but didn't wound any others as a heavily trafficked Virginia Army base temporarily went on lockdown Monday morning.

    Early reports indicate that the soldier fired one shot inside a four-story building that is the headquarters for the Army's Combined Arms Support Command, according to a military news release. The shooter was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and her condition wasn't known, according to the Army. VCU confirmed that it received a patient from Fort Lee but did not give other details.

    The Army statement did not identify the shooter and said officials would not immediately release any further information.

    Fort Lee is 25 miles south of Richmond and 130 miles from Washington. It is the Army's third-largest training site, according to Fort Lee's website. Its daily population is about 34,000, with members from all branches, their families, civilians and contractors. The Army website also cites enormous growth and renovations at Fort Lee over the past decade as a result of realignment and closures of bases across the U.S.

    CASCOM is responsible for training more than 180,000 students annually. Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons became the new commanding general of CASCOM on Aug. 22.
  • Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are now investigating the shooting.

    "Fort Lee officials take this incident very seriously and are fully cooperating with the investigation," according to a statement from base officials.
  • UPDATE: Fort Lee all clear following shooting incident facebook.com/ArmyFortLee/po…
  • Security guards open a gate for a motorist at the visitor entrance to Fort Lee, Va., Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

  • An active shooter was reported at the Fort Lee Army base in central Virginia Monday morning, and Fort Lee representatives gave the all clear less than an hour later.

    Officials say the base was put on lockdown and personnel there were told to enact active shooter protocols at about 9:30 a.m. The all clear was give at about 9:50 a.m.

    The four-story building involved is the headquarters building for the base and houses the Combined Arms Support Command.

    No other details were immediately available.

    The base is about 25 miles south of Richmond, Virginia, and about 130 miles from Washington.

  • Army: Virginia base shooter was female soldier; early reports indicate she shot,
    injured self.
  • A Pentagon spokeswoman says a shooter on a Virginia Army base did not wound
    anyone, but she is uncertain of the shooter's status.


    The shooter was reported Monday morning at Fort Lee and the base locked
    down temporarily before an all clear was issued.


    Pentagon spokeswoman Alayne Conway says the situation is under control.  


  • CBS National Security Correspondent David Martin is reporting that the situation in Fort Lee is now over. There is one wounded, believed to be the shooter.



  • On Fort Lee Facebook: An all clear has been issued by the Fort Lee installation operations center at 9:50 a.m. The law enforcement event is over.






  • The U.S. Army says the shooting is at the headquarters for Combined Arms Support Command. 

    CASCOM, which located at the base, "trains, educates and grows adaptive sustainment professionals; develops and integrates innovative Army and Joint sustainment capabilities, concepts and doctrine to enable Unified Land Operations," according to its website.





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