“A Horrific Outburst of Violence”

President Barack Obama on Thursday called the mass shooting at Fort Hood "a horrific outburst of violence."  Other leaders from Texas are also reacting to Thursday's shootings at the nation's largest Army post near Killeen.

President Barack Obama in a previously scheduled speech before a conference in Washington, D.C.:

"My immediate prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood."

"These are men and women who have made the selfless and courage decision to risk, and at times, give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis."

"It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas, it is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil." 

"We are working with the Pentagon, the FB and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that Fort Hood is secure and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the American government."

I ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers."

Gov. Rick Perry in a statement:

"The Texas family suffered a significant loss today with the tragedy at Fort Hood. Along with all Texans, Anita and I are keeping those affected by today’s incidents in our thoughts and prayers.

"We are deeply saddened by today’s events, but resolve to continue supporting our troops and protecting our citizens. 

"To honor those who lost their lives today, I have ordered that all Texas flags be lowered to half-staff until Sunday, and ask all Texans to pray for the victims, their families and the extended Fort Hood community."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in live interview from Washington, D.C.:

"I'm horrified just like everyone is, and immediately you think of the soldiers who are wounded and dead, their families already under stress, they were processing to deploy. This is a base that has sent so many soldiers time after time after time to Iraq and Afghanistan, they're one of our most active bases as well as our largest base, so they have really bore a lot of the responsibility for the war on terror and so to have that happen in this particular base is really heartbreaking, it really is."

Rep. Kay Granger in live interview from Washington, D.C.:

"It's a terrible afternoon."

"It's shocking, unprecedented this is a terrible tragedy and an enormous alert."

Speaking about reaction on Capital Hill:

"We're all stunned and of course very concerned and horribly sorry for all the persons that were wounded, shot and their families."

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a statement:

"I ask all Texans to please join me in sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrible act. This tragedy is a reminder that every member of our U.S. Armed Services is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and in Texas we will do everything we can to continue to support the victims of today's mass shooting, their families and our entire military community."

Sen. John Cornyn in a statement:

“My heart goes out to the victims of the tragedy that occurred today at Fort Hood, as well as their families.  Fort Hood is one of our nation’s finest and largest military installations, and a place that has long been a source of pride for Texans, and for all Americans who value the selfless service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

“It is imperative that we take the time to gather all the facts, as it would be irresponsible to be the source of rumors or inaccurate information regarding such a horrific event. Once we have ascertained all the facts, working with our military leaders and law enforcement officials on the ground, we can determine what exactly happened at Fort Hood today and how to prevent something like this from ever happening again. We do not yet have these details. My prayers are with the individuals who were killed today, the wounded and their loved ones.” 

Tom Schieffer, former embassador to Japan and current Democratic candidate for governor of Texas in a statement:

"I am sickened by today’s tragedy at Fort Hood. It is heart-breaking to think that the blood of men and women who were dedicated to defending our country has been spilled on American soil. Now, more than ever, the brave men and women of Fort Hood and their families need our support. Susanne and I will be praying for them and for our country in this hour of tragedy."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a statement:

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic events today at Fort Hood.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, the wounded, and all those touched by this incident. There is little we can say at this point to alleviate the pain or answer the many questions this event raises, but I can pledge that the Department of Defense will do everything in its power to help the Fort Hood community get through these difficult times."

Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh in a statement:

"This is a terrible tragedy that we will know more about in the coming days. For now our focus is squarely on taking care of our soldiers and their families. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been killed and wounded.  The leadership at Fort Hood is marshalling the medical support and counselors necessary to take care of our soldiers and their families and to notify the next of kin." 

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