Fort Lee soldier shoots herself in the head after 'rampage'

Incident comes less than five months after Fort Hood shooting.

Published 26 August 2014  |  
United States Army

An Army soldier is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a "rampage" at Fort Lee on Monday.

The soldier, who has not been identified pending next of kin notification, barricaded herself inside a building around 9am and began throwing objects. She then shot herself in the head, and was pronounced dead at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Officials said that there were about 1,100 people inside the four-story building where the incident took place, but no one else was injured. The building houses the Army's Combined Arms Support Command and other offices, and the soldier was barricaded on the third floor.

Fort Lee police responded two minutes after an alert was broadcast across the post, and the grounds were placed on lockdown.

"This situation could've been worse," Major General Stephen R Lyons, Commanding General of the support command, told reporters.

As law enforcement officials tried to negotiate with the soldier, she went on a "rampage" and began throwing objects inside an office, Major General Lyons said.

The lockdown was lifted around 9:50am, after "the soldier turned the weapon on herself and fired one shot, injuring herself," according to a statement.

The small-caliber gun fired was not the soldier's service weapon, and officials are investigating where the gun came from.

The deceased was a sergeant first class who had been in the service for 14 years, Major General Lyons reported. She spent about 15 months in Iraq seven years ago, and had been at Fort Lee for three years. Officials have not stated whether the soldier had a history of mental health issues.

"We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges she had to resort to those kinds of actions," he said.

The last shooting at a US military installation was at Fort Hood, Texas on April 3. Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three people and injured 16 others before killing himself.

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