Fort Hood | KERA News

Fort Hood

The U.S. Army on Thursday named its five-person civilian panel that will conduct a review of the culture at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, following the death and dismemberment of a 20-year-old soldier who had been stationed at the base.

"The Army is committed to taking care of our Soldiers, civilians, families, and Soldiers for life, and this independent review will explore the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood," Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said in a statement.

Gloria Guillen, the mother of slain Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, meets with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday.
Associated Press

President Donald Trump met Thursday with the family of a Fort Hood soldier who investigators say was slain on the Texas Army base where she was stationed, saying it is a “terrible story” and that he would help with funeral expenses.

Police are investigating the death of a Fort Hood soldier whose body was found at a nearby lake — the third service member from the Texas base to be found dead in the past month.

Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, was found unresponsive on July 17 in the area of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, according to the Fort Hood Press Center. His death is currently being investigated by the Bell County Sheriff's Department.

Updated at 9:26 p.m. ET on Monday

More than two months after Spc. Vanessa Guillen was last seen at Fort Hood in Texas, Army investigators identified her remains, her family's lawyer Natalie Khawam told NPR on Sunday.

"On July 3rd, the Army called me to confirm that the bones, hair and other remains found belong to Vanessa Guillen," Khawam said in an email. "We are at a loss for words. This should never have happened. Our country has lost a beautiful young soldier because the system is broken."

Vanessa Guillen, seen here in a poster released by U.S. Army investigators, was last seen alive at Fort Hood in April. Her family is demanding answers.
U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command

Army investigators believe a Texas soldier missing since April was killed by another soldier on the Texas base where they served, the attorney for the missing soldier’s family said Thursday.

Updated July 3 at 2 p.m. ET

More than two months after Spc. Vanessa Guillen was last seen at Fort Hood in Texas, her family's lawyer said they believe "her remains have been found."

Attorney Natalie Khawam revealed the news at a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., as the Guillen family called for a congressional probe into the U.S. military's response to her disappearance.

From Texas Standard:

A 20-year-old Army private's disappearance two months ago from one of the nation's largest military bases has lawmakers and actress Salma Hayek calling for a better investigation.

Vanessa Guillen, 20 was reported missing to Army officials at Fort Hood by Houston family members on April 22 after they noticed  calls and texts were not going through to her cellphone. Her mother, Gloria Guillen, has said her daughter complained of a sergeant sexually harassing her before the soldier went missing.

Eric Gay / Associated Press

Today marks the anniversaries of two mass shootings in Texas — two of the state’s deadliest shootings in history.

Nine soldiers are dead in Fort Hood, Texas, after a tactical vehicle was swept away by a flood-swollen stream late Thursday. Military officials had initially reported five soldiers died in the flooding — but a search for four missing soldiers resulted in the discovery of their bodies Friday.

That information came in an update delivered Friday afternoon; only hours earlier, Maj. Gen. John Uberti had said that while the four soldiers were still missing, finding them remained the top priority.

We've updated this post to reflect the four additional deaths.

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Army officials say four people have died in a helicopter crash at Fort Hood.

Long-Awaited Purple Hearts Awarded To Fort Hood Victims

Apr 12, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

KILLEEN – Moments after receiving a long-awaited Purple Heart, Staff Sgt. Eric Jackson said he was not always certain the award would come, frustrated with the federal government’s insistence that the 2009 attack at Fort Hood was not terrorism.

Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock

Dozens of survivors and relatives of soldiers who died in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting are finally getting the Purple Hearts they have felt were long overdue.

A victim of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre says he knows the pain that friends and family are going through in Killeen this week. KERA talked with retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times by co-worker Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

Sgt. Lunsford says the moment he heard about Wednesday’s shooting, he physically sank, and thought about Fort Hood on lockdown, scared people -- suspended in time.

Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th MPAD / U.S. Army

The country is focusing on Fort Hood once again this week following Wednesday's shootings in which a soldier being treated for mental illness killed three people on the base and wounded 16 others before committing suicide.

Gov. Rick Perry plans to visit Fort Hood on Friday. He'll be briefed by military officials and visit some of the victims of Wednesday's attack blamed on Spc. Ivan Lopez. Post officials say the Army truck driver from Puerto Rico underwent treatment for depression and anxiety and was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Four victims remained hospitalized Friday at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple. Three patients are in serious condition while a fourth person is in good condition.

But what's the mood in Killeen? This week's shootings come five years after another rampage at Fort Hood.

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people during a 2009 shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, rested his case Wednesday without calling any witnesses during his military trial.

Reuters reports:

"Hasan is acting as his own defense attorney on charges stemming from the shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.

The judge presiding over the case of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people during a 2009 shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, said Hasan can continue to defend himself, The Associated Press reports.

(We updated this post at 11:30 a.m. ET with word that attorneys who are advising Maj. Nidal Hasan want to be excused from the case and at 12:15 p.m. ET with word that the trial had recessed for the day.)

(Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET.)

Nearly four years after the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 32 were wounded, the case against the Army psychiatrist who stands accused of the crimes got to the pleading stage Tuesday.

Neil R (cc) flickr

A federal court on Thursday rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.

Dynamic Aviation King Air

Planes will drop mosquito spray on half-a-dozen cities in south Dallas County tonight and tomorrow night.

Sean McCann / (cc) flickr

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has declared a state of emergency as cases of West Nile virus escalate.


Top Republicans are signaling that lawmakers will likely carve out another lean state budget next year even though the Texas economy is humming along for now.

A military judge has ruled against delaying the trial of the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Credit: Dylan Hollingsworth

City leaders and weather experts will inspect Dallas-area locations where tornadoes damaged hundreds of homes.

s_falkow / (cc) flickr

A Vermont judge has ordered a Texas debt settlement company to pay a fine of $2 million in a consumer fraud case.