An enraged soldier barricaded herself in a building at Virginia's Fort Lee Army base yesterday, threw objects around the office, and then fatally shot herself in the head as law enforcement officials tried to negotiate with her, authorities say. The heavily trafficked base went on lockdown while the soldier was barricaded on the third floor of the four-story building that houses the Army's Combined Arms Support Command. The Army says an alert was sounded across the post and those in the building either took shelter inside or evacuated as directed.
"This situation could've been worse," says a general at the base. The soldier was a sergeant first class who had been in the Army for 14 years and at Fort Lee for three, and her gun was not a service weapon, he adds. "We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges [and] had to resort to those kinds of actions," he says. Officials did not know whether she was being treated for any mental health issues and could not speculate whether drugs or alcohol might have been a factor.