"It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas," the president said. "It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."
"My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded, and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood," he said at the Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior, where he had been scheduled to give remarks.
There was an audible gasp in the crowd when the president mentioned the shooting, indicating that attendees of the conference had not yet heard about it.
"We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government," the president said.
"In the meantime I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers," he continued. "We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident."
"And I want all of you to know that as Commander in Chief, there is no greater honor, but also no greater responsibility for me, than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for," said Mr. Obama.
"So we are going to stay on this," he concluded. "But I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers."