US soldier turns gun on herself at Virginia base

AFP
Soldiers from Ft. Lee, Virginia attend a ceremony in Washington, DC on November 11, 2011
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Soldiers from Ft. Lee, Virginia attend a ceremony in Washington, DC on November 11, 2011 (AFP Photo/Win Mcnamee)

Washington (AFP) - A soldier barricaded herself in an office and then shot herself to death at a US Army command post in Virginia on Monday, prompting a temporary lockdown of the base, officials said.

The soldier later died of her wounds at a local hospital near Fort Lee, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of the US capital in Washington, the army said in a statement.

Around 8:45 am (1245 GMT), the soldier entered the Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters at Fort Lee, "brandished a weapon and then barricaded herself in an office with the weapon," it said.

An alert was sounded across the base and police made contact with the soldier within a few minutes.

"During the course of negotiation with the soldier, she reportedly turned the weapon on herself," the statement said.

After a series of deadly shooting rampages at military bases, US authorities have taken extra security precautions and now issue lockdown alerts at the first sign of potential danger.

The injured soldier was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where she later died, officials said.

The incident was under criminal investigation and the circumstances behind the shooting remained unclear.

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