A soldier was shot shortly after midnight Tuesday when he pointed a handgun at military police on Fort Bliss, Texas, Army officials said Tuesday afternoon. No other people were injured during the shooting.
The soldier is being treated at an El Paso hospital and is in stable condition, according to Lt. Col. Allie Payne, a 1st Armored Division spokeswoman.
Five MPs responded to reports of a disturbance on post from a private company’s driver who was called to pick up the soldier from a barracks area and take him off post, Payne said during a telephone call with reporters Tuesday evening.
“When [the driver] encountered the subject, they noticed erratic behavior," Payne said. “They didn’t feel safe and so they went to another bystander and asked that bystander to call military police.”
The soldier was not complying with the driver’s requests, said Payne, though she said she could not go into further detail due to the ongoing investigation into the shooting.
When the five MPs arrived, they were unable to deescalate the situation and “both parties” exchanged gunshots after the soldier brandished a handgun at police, Payne added. The number of shots fired was not provided.
The name of the soldier was not released either, but officials said he was a 20-year-old Hispanic infantryman assigned to 1st Armored Division who had been in the Army for nine months. He has only been at Fort Bliss for three weeks, according to Payne.
“There’s no indication that there was misconduct on the part of the responding officers at this time,” said Payne, adding that the use of force surrounding the incident is under investigation.
The 1st Armored Division has also been in contact with the soldier’s family, according to a Fort Bliss statement.
Army Criminal Investigation Division special agents are investigating the shooting and processing the scene. They have already recovered the soldier’s handgun, the statement added.
“We regret to report the tragic event that occurred on Fort Bliss, Texas today,” the statement reads. “While we may not understand yet why the event occurred, we have confidence in our law enforcement to determine the facts of how this morning’s event unfolded. The safety of our Fort Bliss community remains our top priority.”
Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Army Times will update this article as more information becomes available.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer