U.S. Army officials at Fort Hood said there was not an active shooter at the base Thursday morning, even though rumors circulated to the contrary on social media. Officials posted on the base’s official Twitter account to assure that everyone was okay.
“Rumors of an active shooter on Fort Hood are false; no shots were fired,” said director of public affairs at Fort Hood Tom Rheinlander.
Rheinlander also mentioned that an active duty soldier “made homicidal threats toward his leadership and is currently in custody by Fort Hood law enforcement officers.”
The false alarm scared locals enough to warrant a lockdown at Meadows Elementary School around 10:35 a.m. However, the Killeen Independent School District said in a tweet that the rumors were false and all the children were safe.
The school district said the lockdown took place “out of an abundance of caution.”
Posts on Twitter about an active shooter started circulating around 10:30 a.m. Numerous people took action and said they were sheltering in place on the post.
KWKT in Waco, TX reported that a malfunctioning alarm could have contributed to the rumors. Additionally, KWKT said the school district confirmed the alarm incident with U.S. Army officials.
Fort Hood Criticized Amid Protests
Jeff Kagan, a member of the Watchmen Texas group, is leading a peaceful protest at the military base on Oct. 2-3. Kagan is hosting the protest because he knows multiple people stationed at Fort Hood. His criticism is a response to a spike in deaths, disappearances, and reports of sexual harassment at the base.
“There’s major anxiety,” said Kagan. “They’re saying: ‘Am I next?”
An independent civilian committee visited the military base for the last two weeks searching for answers. So far in 2020, 28 soldiers have died at the base. They include Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, who went missing in April and was later found dead in a shallow grave.
Rep. Henry Cuellar is part of a group leading a combined congressional investigation into the recent incidents at the base. Unanswered questions remain, even after the removal of the senior commander at Fort Hood.
“Why Fort Hood? That’s the big question,” Cuellar said to KXAN. “It looks like sometimes the threats aren’t always foreign armies but they’re internal.”
Cuellar stressed the importance of gathering all the facts first. However, once they are done, he said changes must be made immediately.