8/27 UPDATE: The soldier who died Monday has been identified as Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker, 33, a human resources specialist stationed at Fort Lee since December 2011, the Army said Wednesday.
Walker’s hometown of record is Yonkers, N.Y. She served on active duty for nearly 14 years after enlisting in September 2000. Prior to Fort Lee, Walker served at Fort Devens, Mass., starting in 2010 and Fort Eustis starting in 2006, among other installations.
Her career included a 15-month combat tour in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008. Her awards and decorations included three Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, one Joint Meritorious Unit Award and four Army Good Conduct Medals. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the incident. Fort Lee officials take this incident very seriously and are fully cooperating with the investigation.
FORT LEE- A soldier has died after barricading herself in an office and shooting herself inside a major command's headquarters in Virginia.
Officials say the soldier went on a rampage Monday, throwing objects. Fort Lee temporarily went on lock down while she was barricaded in the headquarters for the Army's Combined Arms Support Command.
About 1,100 people were inside the building as law enforcement officials tried to negotiate with her.
Officials said the soldier was a sergeant 1st class who'd been in the Army for 14 years and at Fort Lee for three. Officials say her gun wasn't a service weapon.
The base is about 25 miles south of Richmond and about 130 miles from Washington. According to the military's website, Fort Lee is the third-largest training site in the Army. Its daily population is about 34,000, with members from all branches, their families, civilians and contractors. The Army website also cites enormous growth and renovations at Fort Lee over the past decade as a result of realignment and closures of bases across the U.S.
The former commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk, retired Captain Joseph Bouchard, tells 13 News Now that an active shooter, especially one that is an insider threat, is every military base commander's worst nightmare.
"You need to respond quickly and until you know you have the incident contained you have to prepare for almost any contingency," Bouchard said by phone from Idaho. "You don't know if it is a single active shooter, you don't know what their motivation is. there could be more than one. It could be an actual terrorist event. You don't know that. So you've got to act quickly and forcefully until you know you have the situation under control."
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th District) said, “This morning we were saddened by the frightening news out of Fort Lee but relieved that the perpetrator has been disarmed and there were no additional injuries. I commend Fort Lee leadership, the workforce and law enforcement for their effective response to this incident. My office is in close communication with Fort Lee and I stand ready to assist the leadership of Fort Lee and surrounding communities as the investigation of this incident begins.”