San Antonio, TX — The man responsible for the deadly shooting at Lackland Air Force Base last week has been identified as Steven D. Bellino.
A statement from the Air Force identified the deceased as Tech. Sgt. Steven D. Bellino and Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder. They did not name Bellino as the shooter. However, a federal official close to the investigation, speaking anonymously, told the Associated Press that Bellino opened fire at the Air Force base on Friday.
“The 37th Training Wing mourns the loss of our airmen and family members,” Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards, commander of the wing, said in a statement Saturday, according to CBS affiliate KENS. “Our primary focus at this time is to take care of the family and the men and women who are grieving our losses.”
On Sunday, an FBI official explained to CBS News that Bellino was an FBI agent before resigning and joining the Air Force in 2013. Adding further suspicion to the case is the fact that in only 3 years, Bellino achieved the rank of Tech Seargent (E-6). A technical sergeant is a rank above a staff sergeant and below master sergeant.
Officials have not released the reason as to how Bellino achieved his rank so quickly.
According to CBS News,
Two Glock handguns were found near the bodies Friday, and military officials are trying to determine whether Bellino was authorized to have a weapon on the base, where the possession of firearms is heavily restricted.
The firearm restrictions apply not only to Lackland but also to Fort Sam Houston, the Randolph air base and another installation that comprise Joint Base San Antonio, which has more than 80,000 full-time personnel and is the home of Air Force basic training.
Friday’s shooting, which the San Antonio Express-News reports caused officials to abruptly end a nearby military training parade with thousands of spectators, is the latest to occur at a military facility in Texas in the last several years.
According to The Washington Times, one of the first things Bill Clinton did upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases. “In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. For the most part, only military police regularly carry firearms on base, and their presence is stretched thin by high demand for MPs in war zones.”
Since this move by Clinton, there have been 21 such shooting incidents to take place at military installations, including the deadliest military attack to ever occur. In 2009, Nidal Hasan, a former U.S. Army major, killed 13 people and wounded an addition 31.