Obama, first lady to attend memorial at Ft. Hood

Anita Hernandez wipes away tears as names of the victims killed in the Ft. Hood shooting are read aloud Sunday during a memorial service at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Killeen, Texas.
(Tamir Kalifa / Associated Press)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama plan to attend a memorial service at Ft. Hood in Texas on Wednesday after last week’s shooting spree at the base, a White House official said Sunday.

In an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Dan Pfeiffer, an assistant and advisor to the president, confirmed the appearance.

Pfeiffer also said Pentagon officials were against arming soldiers inside the base in the wake of the shooting.

On Wednesday, Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three fellow service members with a handgun and wounded 16 others before shooting himself in the head, officials said. It was the second shooting attack on the base in five years; in 2009, a disgruntled major killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.


Weapons are not typically allowed on base, and in the wake of the attack, at least one lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), wants Ft. Hood’s soldiers to be allowed to carry guns.

In Sunday’s interview, Pfeiffer batted down that suggestion, saying military officials “don’t think it’s a good idea.”

When asked why, Pfeiffer didn’t answer directly. “It’s clear from what happened at Ft. Hood, we have to do a lot more to ensure that our men and women feel safe when they come home,” he said.

Pfeiffer added: “It’s a terrible tragedy what happened at Ft. Hood. The president and first lady send their thoughts and prayers out to the victims and families and everyone on the base.”

Obama has attended similar services after other mass shootings across the country. Before the shooting at Ft. Hood, Obama was already scheduled to be in Texas this week to give a keynote address at a civil rights summit at the University of Texas in Austin on Thursday.