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The injured were taken to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center on base and to Scott and White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, the region’s principal trauma center.

Eight victims were hospitalized at Scott and White with wounds to their extremities, abdomen, chest and neck, in conditions ranging from stable to severe.

Three victims remain in critical condition with five more in serious condition, the hospital said Wednesday night. All had single gunshot wounds.

In 2009, Maj. Malik Nidal Hasan attacked the base in a similar manner, killing 12 soldiers and one civilian, and wounding another 30 people, in an assault he said he was inspired by al Qaeda and radical Islamist imams. He was sentenced to death for those attacks last year.

“For the second time in five years Fort Hood has been struck by tragedy. As a central Texan, this hits hard and hits home,” Mr. McCaul said in a statement. “I join all Americans in offering my thoughts and prayers during this tragic time to those affected by this shooting, especially the victims and their families.”

In a statement Wednesday night, President Obama alluded to the Hassan shootings, saying that the country was “heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.”

“We are going to get to bottom of what happened. Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families, we know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make,” he said urging Americans to “keep the families of Fort Hood in our thoughts and our prayers.”

Wednesday’s incident came a day after Fox News reported the FBI and military were searching for an Army recruit said to be planning a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soldiers,” in reference to the Hasan attack.

However, Fox later said there was “no connection” between that report and Wednesday’s shootings.

After the Nidal shooting, security improvements were ordered at U.S. military bases. When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked by reporters in Hawaii about those changes, he said “something’s not working.”

• Ben Wolfgang and Douglas Ernst contributed to this report.