A mother who was picking up her 4-year-old son from soccer practice on the Fort Hood post when Wednesday’s frightening shooting occurred said the "only thing I could tell him was somebody’s not playing nice."
Charlotte Spencer said her son had just climbed in the car when a woman came over a loudspeaker telling everyone to shelter in place immediately.
NBC News reported an active shooter at Fort Hood at about 4 p.m., and the sirens sounded soon after.
“The siren came over and she was like, ‘This is an emergency. Get in your homes, lock your doors, lock your windows, turn off your AC units and turn off your heaters if you have them running. Just stay in place. This is an active emergency,’” Spencer described.
Three people were killed, and the shooter, who has been identified as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez, is dead, according to NBC News. Officials said as 16 others were injured.
“It was very scary because my initial thought was OK, they don’t know where the shooter is," Spender said. "So it was like, OK, I have to protect my kid, so what do I do? So, we just got in the car, rolled up the windows and we just stayed in the car. We tried to drive off base, but it was already closed.”
NBC 5 spoke to Spencer on the phone as she was still sitting in her car taking shelter.
“All we see is police officers driving by us up and down the road non-stop, telling us to stay in our cars," Spencer said. "There are helicopters. I’ve seen a few med-evacs go by and we really don’t know anything yet.”
Spencer said she tried to delicately explain the situation to her son.
“And the only thing I could tell him was somebody’s not playing nice, so we have to wait for them to play nice,” Spencer said.
“You know, that’s the best way I can describe it because I can’t tell him, ‘Hey, somebody’s shooting at another person,’ because they’re not going to understand that,” she said.
Spencer lived in Killeen during the 2009 Fort Hood massacre and said Wednesday’s events are all too familiar.
“It’s very scary having to live something like that again," Spencer said. "Because not only do we have this, we had it 2009 and then I also have a husband who was killed overseas. So it’s very emotional and it’s just hard to deal with. Because it’s like okay, you’re at a point now where is this going to be the norm here? How do I cope with this? How do I deal with this? How do I explain this to my children? It’s very hard to deal with!”
Spencer was able to leave the post at about 9 p.m. after spending more than four hours locked in her car.