A female soldier who sparked an "active shooter" alert on a Virginia military base on Monday died after shooting herself in the head, military sources said.
The soldier was pronounced dead several hours after being admitted to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center after barricading herself in an office at the Ft. Lee Army base, throwing things around the room and ultimately shooting herself with the pistol she was carrying.
The soldier, who has not yet been publicly identified, reportedly did not harm anybody else during her morning rampage in an office in a four-story building on the base, which is located about 45 km (28 miles) south or Richmond, Virginia.
The base was put on lockdown while the soldier was barricaded on the third floor of the complex housing the Army's Combined Arms Support Command, where about 1,100 people were working at the time, Fort Lee authorities said.
Those inside the building either evacuated or took shelter in their offices and Fort Lee police responded within two minutes of being informed that there was an active shooter on the base, according to the statement released by Fort Lee.
Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, the commanding general of the support command, said that the soldier was a sergeant 1st class who had been in the Army for 14 years and stationed at Fort Lee for three years.
"We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges that she thought she had to resort to those kind of actions," Lyons said at a news conference.
He said authorities did not yet know if the sergeant was receiving mental health treatment, but he described her as enraged during the incident. The weapon she was carrying was a small-caliber handgun and not a service weapon, he added.
Police tried to begin negotiating with the barricaded soldier, but she then shot herself. Less than an hour after the alert was declared, base authorities lifted it and activities returned to normal.
Some 34,000 people - both civilian and military - work on the base on any given day, and the installation is the headquarters for several Army commands.
The incident is the fourth violent act this year on a Virginia military base, according to local media. EFE