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(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Thursday called the “unspeakable, senseless violence” at Fort Hood a “tragedy” and called for thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims of the shooting.

“These are people who make extraordinary sacrifices for our freedom” he said Thursday.

Spc. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old soldier who spent time in Iraq, opened fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding 16 before taking his own life, military officials said.

Obama called the three killed “American patriots.”

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