Two dead in Texas shooting, including gunman: Officials

El Paso police blocking off an entrance to the Beaumont Army Medical Center as other officers search for the gunman during the shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Jan 6, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
El Paso police blocking off an entrance to the Beaumont Army Medical Center as other officers search for the gunman during the shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Jan 6, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Two people were killed on Tuesday including an alleged shooter at a military medical centre in Texas, the facility’s commanding officer said.

The Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, went into lockdown after an “active shooting” situation was reported around mid-afternoon, said the base’s commander, Major-General Stephen Twitty. “The alleged shooter is dead, and we have one casualty.

That casualty is deceased,” he told a briefing some four hours after the incident. He gave no further details about the victim or alleged shooter, or how they died.

“All other VA patients and staff are safe... everything is under control and there is no immediate threat to Fort Bliss or the local community,” he said, adding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was leading the probe.The shooting at the facility, which treats soldiers returning from conflict zone including those with post traumatic stress syndrome, is the latest such incident involving military personnel.

The motive of the shooting was not immediately clear. The facility will be closed on Wednesday, according to CNN.

A spokesman for the William Beaumont Army Medical Centre, next to the facility, had said earlier that the area was on lockdown, CNN reported.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs is deeply saddened by the tragic situation that has occurred in El Paso, and we are actively working with our partners at Fort Bliss to investigate this matter," CNN quoted a statement from the department.

"We will continue to cooperate fully with military and civilian authorities at Beaumont Army Medical Center. The safety and continued care of our Veterans and the staff will be our focus throughout this situation."

In April last year, a troubled US soldier shot his semi-automatic pistol at least 35 times during an eight-minute killing spree at Texas’s Fort Hood military base, killing three and wounding 16 others.

The incident sparked memories of the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, when Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at the base, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others.

Then last August a soldier barricaded herself in an office and then shot herself to death at the Fort Lee US Army command post in Virginia.