UPDATE: ‘Enraged’ soldier who shot herself at Fort Lee has died

FORT LEE, Va. –The solider who shot herself while barricaded inside an office in a command headquarters building Monday morning at Fort Lee has died.

First responders were dispatched to the Army post after a report of a female soldier with a gun inside the Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters (Bldg. 5020) at 8:45 a.m.

Major General Stephen Lyons

It was Major General Stephen Lyons’ first day on the job when the incident happened.

Major General Stephen Lyons, the Commanding General of Combined Armed Support Command and Fort Lee, said that the soldier walked into a headquarters building with a small-caliber weapon.

As a result, an alert was sounded across the post all access gates on post were closed temporarily.

“Soldiers and civilians responded appropriately,” Lyons said. “They either sheltered in place or evacuated and notified law enforcement.”

Fort Lee police responded within two minutes and established communication with the solider, who had barricaded herself in an office on the third floor. Lyons said the negotiation team thought their work was progressing calmly until the woman turned the gun on herself and shot herself once in the head.

Lyons said it was unclear whether the solider was a threat to others.

BUILDING

Fort Lee’s Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters (Bldg. 5020)

“She did not fire any rounds prior to taking that weapon on herself,” Lyons said. “She did go into a bit of a rampage in the office area.”

The wounded soldier was transported to VCU Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. No other people were injured.

Lyons said there was no indication that the soldier had done anything like this before and there was no word on a motive for the incident.

The general did not release the victim’s name, but said she is an E7 Sergeant First Class permanent party soldier with nearly 14 years of service.

She had been assigned to Fort Lee for almost three years and had been deployed to Iraq in 2007 for about 15 months. Lyons said he believed her  job was involved personnel.

The soldier’s identity is being withheld until 24 hours after her next of kin have been notified as is Department of Defense policy.

Officials said special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating the incident.

Fort Lee Gate

READ MORE: Fort Lee reacts to Navy Yard shooting

Post on Lockdown

“A guy comes running saying, ‘Everybody get out of the building. Everybody out. Everybody out,’” Stephen Cheeks, who runs cafe atCASCOM building, said.

Stephen Cheeks

Stephen Cheeks

“When I first walked out, I thought it was an exercise.”

Cheeks said he was impressed with the swift response from post police and said they handled the situation “very well.”

News of the incident was first reported on the post’s social media accounts.

“Active shooter incident reported at CASCOM HQ, Bldg. 5020,” stated a tweet sent out from the post around 9:30 a.m. “All personnel enact active shooter protocols immediately.”

Around 9:50 a.m., CBS 6 News senior reporter Wayne Covil reported that an intercom on the base sounded stating that the situation “was over.”

“An all clear has been issued by the Fort Lee installation operations center at 9:50 a.m.,” read post on Fort Lee’s Facebook page. “The law enforcement event is over.”

The lockdown was partially lifted, then limited to one building and main gate.

All gates were later reopened except for the Lee Avenue Gate. That gate remains closed, along with some nearby streets near the headquarters building as the investigation continues.

Fort Lee is ‘Very Active’ Post 

Retired Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks, a CNN military analyst, described the post as a “very active” one, with soldiers “routinely coming and going to get various types of training.”

fbi

FBI arrives as post is on lockdown. (SOURCE: CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil.)

In an active shooter situation, he said, everyone locks down in place to avoid becoming a target while letting authorities and military police respond.

Fort Lee is located near the Tri-Cities and Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties.

The post’s daily population averages about 34,000 from all branches of the military service, their families, government civilians and contractors.

The Army garrison has experienced enormous growth as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure mandates and its designation as the Army Sustainment Center of Excellence. It’s a training base for military supply, subsistence, maintenance, munitions, transportation and more.

As a result, a more than $1.2 billion base modernization mission led to new training facilities, administrative centers, dining facilities and barracks.

Scroll down for WTVR.com’s continuous updates from the field on this important local story. 

Nick Dutton August 25, 20147:12 pm

Nick Dutton August 25, 20147:12 pm

Nick Dutton August 25, 201412:28 pm

Nick Dutton August 25, 201412:28 pm

Nick Dutton August 25, 201412:27 pm

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:48 am

A news conference is underway on this morning’s incident at Fort Lee.

You can watch here once it begins: http://WTVR.com/LIVE2

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:43 am

Tanya Rhea Williams posted this photo looking from her window into her backyard.

“The soldiers are finished securing the base the sirens have stopped and they have just stopped patrolling right outside in my front yard scariest thing ever for my kiddo. We thought we were being air raid attacked over here.”

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:35 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:19 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:04 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:03 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:03 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201411:03 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:55 am

From Fort Lee Facebook page:

Fort Lee first responders responded to a report of a female Soldier with a gun inside the Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters, Bldg. 5020 at approximately 9 a.m.

Early reports indicate the Soldier turned the weapon on herself and fired one shot, injuring herself. Her condition is not known at this time.

Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are on scene and investigating the incident.

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:48 am

VCUMedical Center confirmed that one patient has arrived from Fort Lee.

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:36 am

Fort Lee is located near the Tri-Cities and Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties.

The Army garrison has experienced enormous growth as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure mandates and its designation as the Army Sustainment Center of Excellence.

Fort Lee averages about 34,000, including members from all branches of the military service, their families, government civilians and contractors.

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:20 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:16 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:04 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:03 am

Covil reports a audible alert system stated that the situation was over
and the all clear was given.

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:02 am

Wayne Covil reports post sirens have been activated three or
four times since he arrived. 

Nick Dutton August 25, 201410:00 am

Nick Dutton August 25, 20149:59 am

Wayne Covil says post’s gates remain closed and locked as is protocol. 

Nick Dutton August 25, 20149:56 am

Alarms sounding at Fort Lee. 

Nick Dutton August 25, 20149:51 am

CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil is headed to the scene.

Nick Dutton August 25, 20149:50 am

36 comments

  • Karen Zimmer

    Knowing that my son and his family are at Ft. Lee right now, I’m sending lots of prayers for the safety of all.

  • sherry

    Prayers to the people at fort lee…. we have lots of friends there…. fort benning is praying for everyone!!

    • Cliff Danielson

      Sure, but “woman commits suicide at work” has a tremendously different connotation from “active shooter”. And quite frankly, the way advertisements work is based around the idea that long past when you remember whether you hated or loved a commercial, you remember it; this is the same idea – long past when the ordinary person forgets that it wasn’t actually a mass shooting, they remember the unspecific notion that “these things happen all the time.” It subtly shapes the perception by brute force repetition.

      • michele

        she is still alive, so it’s premature to report that she committed suicide. This happened in a huge building with hundreds of occupants inside. If I hear a shot I am taking cover, regardless of where the bullet lands.

  • Corey Reynolds

    You know, I feel for her but c’mon, Seriously? An entire US Army base goes apeshit over one person attempting suicide?
    As a nation we are really taking this “everyone MUST BE SHEEP” thing a bit too far.

    • DB

      The base locks down until the threat is found and verified there are no other threats elsewhere. A big base like Ft Lee could have multiple threats at the same time. Think outside of your linen closet dude…

    • DB

      Coward? Disgrace? You too must be in the military to have such intricate knowledge! Otherwise, you would be a know it all armchair quarterback jerk.

    • Unknown

      Really? They’ve been fighting on the ideas and wallets of certain folks since WWI. You think being a soldier today has anything to do with the romantic ideology you hold? We bomb to waste money. We waste money because other people tell us to be afraid, and we need to spend it. Their friends, who get our money, give a sliver back to the people that tell us what to do. And you call this chick a coward? Go shoot yourself.

    • athynz

      Until you know what prompted this action, until you’ve walked a mile in her boots – or any soldier’s boots – you need to stand down. Calling her a coward is ignorant, calling our soldiers a disgrace is just idiotic.

    • mbaker9105

      You obviously are ignorant of the stresses involved in the Army. If an Officer, maybe she just found out her services were no longer needed. They are cutting down on officers. Could have been a bar to promotion. Could have been orders to deploy again sooner than the Army standard deployment times and time non-deployed. If she went to the COSCOM HQ buiding, it sounds like some administrative issue pushed her over the edge. There are so many ways for the Army structure to act like arseholes and too many people that like doing it. When I was moving on to next assignment at Ft. Bragg years ago, there was a base reg that everyone wears dress greens that day (payday). I had two weeks to out process, which was fully devoted to that, clearing HQ, turning in gear, etc. When I went to get 1 signature to clear base housing (which was my only duty requirement that day) I figured no one would care if I just wore BDU’s for those 20 minutes of duty time. Boy was I wrong. They made me go back, put on dress greens, and then come back for the 2 minutes it took to get a signature. And I didn’t even need it, I was single and lived in the barracks, so it shouldn’t have been required anyway. Needless to say I was a little hot. During that same time at the re-enlistment center, a guy in front of me was complaining that his hometown recruiter told him as an Airborne 11B infantryman he would only be in the field maybe 2 weeks a year. Dumb as he was for believing that, that’s the type of thing that causes things like this. I hope she’ll be OK, and gets some help.

    • B Addy

      I have relatives in the 75th Ranger Regiment that I would love to see you say that to.
      I mean lovvvvve to see it.

  • Greg Burton

    Hmm, I guess the latest Project Monarch MK-ULTRA torture robot was put into action to further the Deep State globalist agenda of destroying the constitutional republic of the United States of America as a pre-condition for establishing their Satanic New World Order.

  • DB

    So… You’re saying you could hit yourself at that close range [right] with 100% accuracy? Perhaps you could earn your marksmanship badge… posthumously? If you’re trying to be funny with your comment – it didn’t work!

  • Liz

    Army wife, this woman died – what a cold heartless comment. Did you and your friends get a giggle from it?

  • Ryan

    Military Suicides are NOT a mistake,

    Please watch and share this documentary. This information needs to be more wide spread. We can not continue to kill our own soldiers like this.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    “Soldier” spelled as “Solider” not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES! Come on, journalists should at least use spell check.

  • Michelle

    Curious, I opened and read another story from 6 and it’s white officer kill black suspect…. WHY doesn’t this one read white soldier or black soldier commits suicide? …. Things that make ya go Hmmmm…

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