FORT LEE, Va. — A soldier with a gun inside a major command’s headquarters 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 indicated the soldier fired one shot inside the four-story building that is the headquarters for the Army’s Combined Arms Support Command, according to an Army news release. The command is responsible for training more than 180,000 students annually, and Fort Lee is the Army’s third-largest training site.
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. Army officials were expected to provide a statement to reporters at a news conference later in the day.
Army officials initially labeled the 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.
Fort Lee is 25 miles south of Richmond and 130 miles from Washington. 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.
The lockdown came days after Fort Lee announced in its official newspaper that a new mass warning and emergency notification system was going to be activated in the coming weeks. It wasn’t immediately clear whether that notification system was used. Soldiers had to register their contact information with the system, which allows users to input land line and cell phone numbers, email addresses or a pop-up alert on any computer that’s part of the main Fort Lee network, and a faxed message, the newspaper said.
Associated Press writer Brock Vergakis contributed to this report from Norfolk.