Fort Hood Restricts Base Access After Shooting Incident

Matthew Cox
·3 min read

Army officials at Fort Hood, Texas tightened the base's gate security to restrict access after an on-base shooting early Saturday morning.

No one was injured in the shooting, but Fort Hood has suspended its Trusted Traveler Program that allowed military personnel with valid military identification to "escort or vouch for adult passengers ... in their vehicle," according to a Fort Hood news release.

The shooting occurred at approximately 12:50 a.m. in a parking lot on base, another news release states.

The shooter is suspected to be a former soldier, who was "socializing with current soldiers when he fired a pistol," according to the release.

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"The suspect was immediately disarmed and apprehended without further incident," according to the release that added that the suspect is now in military police custody. "This was an isolated and rapidly resolved incident."

Fort Hood officials say there is "no ongoing threat," but moved Saturday evening to restrict access to the base, according to the release.

Fort Hood's suspension of its Trusted Traveler Program comes one day after officials at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland imposed similar access restrictions after a male with outstanding arrest warrants trespassed onto the base and boarded an Air Force C-40 Clipper aircraft before being apprehended.

"In recent weeks, the III Corps commanding general initiated a review of installation access authorization -- entering Fort Hood is a privilege not a right," Fort Hood spokesman Col. Myles Caggins III told Military.com in a statement. "Also, a review of post access policy for former soldiers who were separated for misconduct is underway. Our priority is the safety and security of the soldiers, families, civilians, and community members who work, live, and play at Fort Hood."

Fort Hood became the subject of national news coverage last year following the disappearance and death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, a 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldier who was murdered by a fellow unit member.

Guillen, along with the deaths of other Fort Hood soldiers, prompted then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to order an independent review of the command climate at Hood, which found that the leadership at the base had allowed a culture of sexual harassment and assault to fester. As a result, the Army fired or suspended 14 leaders at the base.

The Army also created a special task force to implement the independent review's 70 recommendations, some of them focused on Hood and others for the entire Army. The task force briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee in a close-door meeting on Thursday.

"It's going to take real leadership to fix the problems at Fort Hood and throughout the Army," committee Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., and ranking member Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a joint statement following the hearing.

"What we heard today gives us hope but hope alone isn't enough. We look forward to working with the task force and leadership at DoD to solve these troubling issues once and for all."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Related: 'Gravely Disappointed:' 14 Fort Hood Leaders Fired, Suspended in Wake of Vanessa Guillen Murder