Fil-Am soldier at Fort Hood: ‘We thought it was a rehearsal’

Ryan Macasero
Fil-Am soldier at Fort Hood: ‘We thought it was a rehearsal’
Pinoy US Army Soldier was 5 blocks away from the scene of the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, USA. He thought it was an exercise.

MANILA, Philippines – A United States Army soldier who is from the Philippines was at the scene of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, a US military base, on Wednesday, April 2 (April 3 in Manila). the soldier, who was at Fort Hood during the shooting, didn’t realize it was live gunfire at first. “We thought it was some kind of rehearsal for ceremonies; it’s not. It turned out to be real live ammo.”

(Editor’s note: We have decided to withhold his name since he was not authorized to speak to media about the incident.) 

According to latest reports, a soldier killed at least 4 people and wounded 16 others before turning the gun on himself. 

The gunman – who remains unidentified – allegedly used a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, which he supposedly bought recently and smuggled on base. 

The soldier told Rappler, “We heard gunfire around 4:30 pm (7:30 am Manila time).”

He explained, “it’s common to hear gunfire inside because there’s always training that’s happening. After a few minutes we heard sirens and some MPs rolling down the strip.” Lagasca said that was when they had to evacuate, “Our chain of command started telling everybody to stay inside the company area; the doors were locked. We couldn’t peek outside because they haven’t determined what kind of weapon the gunman was using.”

But despite the gunfire, the soldier and his other companions were calm the whole time. “Most, if not all of us, started calling family members letting them know that they’re okay.”

He said his parents were checking up on their son every hour. 

The suspect’s identity has yet to be revealed. This is the second mass-shooting at Fort Hood, the first one was in 2009. Lt Gen Mark Milley III said the gunman was “currently under diagnosis for PTSD,” but had not been diagnosed.

President Barack Obama told the media he was “heartbroken something like this might happen again.”  – Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.