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Hagel: Shootings at Fort Hood a 'terrible tragedy'

By William Cole

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:45 p.m. HST, Apr 02, 2014


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is calling the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, a "terrible tragedy."

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Hagel said he was aware of casualties at the Army base in Texas and that the facility remains under lockdown.

"I just got off the phone with our senior leaders at the Pentagon to get an update I know there have been a number of reports out of the press," Hagel said. "We are still getting facts. It's a terrible tragedy. We know that."

U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that one person was killed and 14 were injured in the shooting Wednesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the information by name.

Hagel is in Honolulu for a meeting of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) defense ministers. He toured the USS Anchorage, an amphibious transport dock ship, with his counterparts from Southeast Asia at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Asked about security improvements in the aftermath of other shootings at military bases, Hagel said "something's not working" when such tragedies take place.

"We will continue to address the issue. Any time you lose any of your people to these kinds of tragedies there's an issue. There's a problem," Hagel said."We don't have any choice here but to address what happened and do everything possible to assure the safety of our men and women who work on these bases and their families. "

The Associated Press contributed to this report.






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