At 8:31 a.m., Aug. 25, the U.S. Army released a tweet that there was an active shooter on the third floor of building 5020, and that everyone should proceed with shooter emergency protocols at once. The entire building was on lockdown for approximately an hour before the all clear order was given.
News KARE 11, reported that a female, first class sergeant “had barricaded herself in an office.” Witness reports claim the women was infuriated, and as negotiations ensued she began to throw items at the officers who got closer before she turned the gun on herself -- aimed at her head. Army officials have not released the soldier's name or what her current condition is at this time.
No one else was injured, but this lockdown is a stark reminder of the last shooting that took place approximately four months ago in Texas at Fort Hood, where three people were fatally shot and about 16 people were injured after a soldier who had a mental break down opened fire. Reuters reports, that Fort Hood has had three spree shootings in the last six months.
Military officials said it’s unclear at this time if the shooter was seeking treatment for mental health, or if she had a record of abusing drugs or alcohol. The Commander of Fort Lee, Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons said she had been deployed in 2007 to Iraq, and has been in the army for the last 14 years. Militaryranks.org states that “a Sergeant First Class is a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army ,” and has a salary that starts out at $2,637 monthly. They may also receive other allowances plus obtain extra pay for deployment with dangerous duties. An SFC typical role includes being assigned Platoon Sergeant and to advise and assist a Platoon Leader.
The National Institute of Health released a report in March, 2014, which analyzed ways to lower a soldier's risk in committing suicide and found that, “deployment increased the suicide risk for women, more than it did for men.” The report evaluated soldiers who served between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2009. The lead author on the report is Matthew Nock, Ph.d., from Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Unit continues their investigation about the shooting lockdown that happened this morning at Fort Lee, Virginia.