WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama is "saddened" by Monday's news that an American soldier shot and killed five of his fellow troops at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.
"The President's heart goes out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this horrible tragedy," Gibbs said at Monday's White House briefing.
"He was shocked by the news of this incident and will press to ensure that we fully understand what happened at the clinic and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our men and women in uniform are protected," Gibbs said. "He plans on seeing Secretary Gates this afternoon and will raise this matter then."
The shooting took place at 2 p.m. local (6 a.m. ET) at the U.S. military base. The soldier is now in custody.
Updated 5:15 p.m. With written statement from the president.
President Obama issued the following statement Monday evening about the shootings:
"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news from Camp Victory this morning, and my heart goes out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this horrible tragedy. I will press to ensure that we fully understand what led to this tragedy, and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our men and women in uniform are protected as they serve our country so capably and courageously in harm’s way. To begin this process, I met with Secretary Gates this afternoon to get a briefing on the situation."
Related: Soldier kills 5 comrades, officials say
Water as soft as it is under enough pressure and stress will break a Steel pipe.
Our troops need pressure release, send them home for more rotations or just get them the heck out of there.
I too was saddened. These people are already placing themselves in harm's way everyday and you have one of your own (so sick and hurting so bad) he kills himself and others. I only hope this person was not a terrorist himself. Why would he kill his fellow soldiers? Now, people will be afraid to seek help for fear of getting killed. I hope the president initiates some new measures regarding this matter for the future. My heart goes out to the families. I'm sure they never imagined this as many of us did not either.
Hey Kevin in Ohio,
This is not the time for blame, it is a time for reflection. War is difficult and this has been a particularly difficult war with a un-ideal outcome and because of this our young men and women our suffering. Now is the time to find methods to help them overcome the mental stresses they are probably all suffering. Pointing fingers does not help our troops.
Liberal from NY
This is what happens when you fight unjust/illegal wars. It makes you crazy. I thought you people voted for Obama to end the war. Boy, were you fooled. Life is more than endless wars and bombings and killings. Bring them home now, or go over yourselves.
Tam- you are so right. I wish for the President to just stop the BS and bring them all home, and just leave the smallest amount needed to clean up the mess and get out. Please Mr. President bring them Home today.
Kevin in Ohio: Who started a war against a country that did not attack us and had no WMD? Who else's fault would it be? You send people to war, and people die. The "enemy" has casualties. The "good guys" have casualties. Innocent civilians get killed, maimed, mutilated. That is why you only go to war as an absolute last resort, not because you want to spread democracy or get some cheap oil or take out a petty despot. George Bush killed more Iraqis than saddam ever did, and sent 50% more Americans to their death in Iraq alone than bin laden killed on 9/11.
Who else would you blame?
This is a sad story. Not only do we have to worry about an increase in violence in Iraq from the enemy, but fratrecide/friendly fire doesn't help at all. My prayers go out to the families of the fallen.
Kevin in Ohio May 11th, 2009 2:12 pm ET
I am sure the liberals will ultimately put the blame for this on Bush.
People have died and families will never see their loved one again.
Kind of tacky to try to fit in a one-liner zinger, don't you think?
Do the world a favor and expire.
You'll be missed as much as your timely and intellectual contribution.
Republican/Conservative Slack Jaw Scum.
It's sad, but this is happening a lot right here at home as well. Our society seems to be demanding too much for some people to handle.
♫ Bring the boys back home♫. (When you do, please don't leave them to hunt for phantom jobs or fend for themselves like lepers in the street). May they RIP!
THIS JUST IN: In response, Obama is proposing gun control for all military branches, including limited ammunition and a requirement to keep all guns locked up at all times.
Ultimately, the blame lies with both. Bush for sending them over there in the first place, some of them more than once or twice and then making tours of duty to long and our current Administration for not starting to rotate the ones that have been there the longest out. My heart most certainly goes out to the families of the soldiers that were killed and also the family of the soldier who did the killing. All 6 families lost something today.
@ Kevin in Ohio
What possible reason was there for you to turn this into something political?
It is a terrible tragedy, regardless of political affiliation, and highlights the need for our troops to be brought home as soon as absolutely possible. My heart goes out to all of their families.
I think if we can find any positive lesson here - and I use "positive" loosely - it's that regardless of political leanings, we should make sure that the Veteran's Administration gets all the cash it needs to care for these kids when they come back. This war is doing untold damage to thousands of young men and women. Write your reps and senators and push them to fund the VA.
Yes this is the main reason we need our children..yes children ..to come home..they don't want us there so get out.
My prayers go out to the families of the soldiers killed today. The suicide rate and tragedies like this show us that we need to do a much better job treating all the side effects of war.
This is just another reason why we should have never gone into Iraq!
Of course this was stupid of the soldier to kill his fellow service members. There is no excuse for him doing such a horrible act.
would be interesting to know the background of the shooter as well as his victims. for example, background details as education level attained, medical exams prior to military service and during military service and more. they are all volunteers and many volunteer for bonus money or reenlist for bonus money. if one enlists for money, that sounds like what a mercenary does for a living. none are draftees, they all asked to be where they are now whether in harms way or not. life is about choices, they all made the choice to enlist.
Bring them home. They are needed on the streets of New Orleans.
You cannot imagine the total horror of war unless you were in one.
Repeated tours in a combat zone can dehumanize anyone. Our soldiers are magnificant, however, I totally agree that they ALL need to come home. It is going to take years to treat those that have given their all to defend this nation.
Many of these troops have been diployed multiple times and to many of them, it feels like there is no end. Of course we need to get out, but in the meantime, there are too many diployments for some soldiers and that needs to stop.
How long will it be until the messiah pulls the old "inheritied" excuse. I am sure this Bush's fault. Won't everythign be during the next 4 years of accountability and transparency.
Kevin in Ohio-
Since you wanted us to blame Bush, let me give it a try. There is always the possibilty that this would not have happened if the former president had not started the unnecessary war. Extended tours of duty may take its toll on our military.
Get our boys and girls home....numerous tours have worn these kids down. The psyches need to heal....
I really feel for the the families of all of these soldiers. The men and women serving in the armed forces are exhausted, both mentally and physically and it seems they are on an endless treadmill. This incident was a terrible tragedy which spotlights the mental anguish and suffering they all have had to endure. It is thankless duty and no one will everbe able to replace all they have lost. Their courage and committment are beyond reproach.