WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 8, 2014) -- The chief of staff of the Army said there is still much to learn about what happened at Fort Hood, Texas, and why, but changes made after a 2009 shooting spree prevented the tragedy from being "much worse."

Gen. Ray Odierno spoke at a hearing today of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He began his remarks with a statement about the April 2 shooting at Fort Hood.

"As soon as we are done with the hearing, I'll be traveling to Fort Hood to visit with the Soldiers, families, commanders, those wounded, and will attend the memorial service tomorrow," he told lawmakers.

A Soldier allegedly opened fire on the installation April 2, killing three Soldiers and injuring 16 others. Fort Hood officials say the Soldier then killed himself.

"As we continue to investigate and look at this, I'm satisfied that if we had not implemented some of the lessons learned in 2009, the tragedy could have been much worse than it was," said Odierno, referring to the shooting spree in which 13 people were killed and a number of others injured.

"We still have much to learn about what happened and why and what we have to do in terms of our mental health screening assessments as well as taking care of our Soldiers," Odierno said.

"The Army is committed to thoroughly understanding what we must do, and the actions we must take as we look forward in the future to reporting out to you on what we have found as we continue to and conclude our investigations at Fort Hood," he said.

In a congressional hearing last week, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Odierno talked about the alleged shooter and said he had deployed to the Sinai and to Iraq.

McHugh said his records show no wounds, no direct involvement in combat, and no injury that would warrant further investigation of a battlefield traumatic brain injury.

He said the Soldier was undergoing a variety of mental health treatments and had been seen by a psychiatrist.

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