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12 People Killed and 31 Wounded in Fort Hood Shooting
Suspected Gunman Is Identified by ABC News as Major Malik Nadal Hasan By EMILY FRIEDMAN and RICHARD ESPOSITO Nov. 5, 2009
Twelve people have been killed and 31 wounded in a shooting spree at a Texas military base in a murderous rampage that officials believe was carried out by an Army psychiatrist.
Gunman opens fire on soldiers and civilians at the largest U.S. Army base.
The suspected gunman was identified by ABC News as Major Nadal Malik Hasan. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, told Fox News that military sources informed her that the gunman was about to be deployed to Iraq. Sources tell ABC News that this would have been his first deployment.
The shooter was killed and two other suspects, who are also soldiers, have been apprehended, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone said.
Hasan allegedly opened fire and killed 11 people on the base before he was shot dead, bringing the total number of fatalities to 12.
The general said there were "eyewitness accounts of more than one shooter," and the others were tracked to an adjacent facility.
Cone called the attack "a terrible tragedy, stunning." He said the community was "absolutely devastated."
President Obama called the Fort Hood shootings a "horrific outburst of violence."
"It is difficult enough to lose" soldiers overseas, but it is "horrifying that they should lose their lives at an Army base in the U.S.," he said. source
(CNN) -- A senior officer who was playing golf Thursday near Fort Hood, Texas, told CNN he witnessed the arrest of one of the two surviving suspects of the shooting at the Army installation.
Shortly after the shooting, the officer said, military police told him to clear the course and he saw other MPs surround the building that held the golf carts, he said.
The senior officer said he ducked into a nearby house for cover as 30 to 40 cars carrying MPs approached.
He said he saw a soldier in battle-dress uniform, his hands in the air. The MPs ordered him to lie on the ground and open his uniform, presumably to ensure he was not carrying explosives, the senior officer said.
He said an MP told him that authorities considered the man to be a suspect in the shootings after having overheard the man say he was with the shooter.
The man was surrounded for 25 to 30 minutes, until a convoy of vehicles arrived, led by a Ford Crown Victoria and carrying men in suits, and he was taken away, the senior officer said.
The golf course is about 2.5 miles from Fort Hood, the officer told CNN.
Army Doctor Held in Fort Hood Rampage Ben Sklar/Getty Images
By ROBERT D. McFADDEN Published: November 5, 2009
An Army psychiatrist facing deployment to one of America’s war zones killed 12 people and wounded 31 others on Thursday in a shooting rampage with two handguns at the sprawling Fort Hood Army post in central Texas, military officials said.
Suspect Was ‘Mortified’ About Deployment to War (November 6, 2009) Shooting Victims Flood Local Hospitals (November 6, 2009)
It was one of the worst mass shootings ever at a military base in the United States.
The gunman, who was still alive after being shot four times, was identified by law enforcement authorities as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, who had been in the service since 1995. Major Hasan was about to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas.
Clad in a military uniform and firing an automatic pistol and another weapon, Major Hasan, a balding, chubby-faced man with heavy eyebrows, sprayed bullets inside a crowded medical processing center for soldiers returning from or about to be sent overseas, military officials said.
The victims, nearly all military personnel but including two civilians, were cut down in clusters, the officials said. Witnesses told military investigators that medics working at the center tore open the clothing of the dead and wounded to get at the wounds and administer first aid.
As the shooting unfolded, military police and civilian officers of the Department of the Army responded and returned the gunman’s fire, officials said, adding that Major Hasan was shot by a first-responder, who was herself wounded in the exchange. In the confusion of a day of wild and misleading reports, the major and the officer who shot him were both reported killed in the gun battle, but both reports were erroneous.
Eight hours after the shootings, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, a base spokesmen, said Major Hasan, whom he described as the sole gunman, had been shot four times, but was hospitalized off the base, under around-the-clock guard, in stable condition and was not in imminent danger of dying.
Another military spokesman listed the major’s condition as critical. The condition of the officer who shot the gunman was not given.
Major Hasan was not speaking to investigators, and much about his background — and his motives — were unknown.
General Cone said that terrorism was not being ruled out, but that preliminary evidence did not suggest that the rampage had been an act of terrorism. Fox News quoted a retired Army colonel, Terry Lee, as saying that Major Hasan, with whom he worked, had voiced hope that President Obama would pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, had argued with military colleagues who supported the wars and had tried to prevent his own deployment.
As a parade of ambulances wailed to the scene of the shootings, officials said the extent of injuries to the wounded varied significantly, with some in critical condition and others lightly wounded. General Cone praised the first-responders and the medics who acted quickly to administer first aid at the scene.
“Horrible as this was, I think it could have been much worse,” the general said.
The rampage recalled other mass shootings in the United States, including 13 killed at a center for immigrants in upstate New York last April, the deaths of 10 during a gunman’s rampage in Alabama in March and 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in 2007, the deadliest shooting in modern American history.
As a widespread investigation by the military, the F.B.I., and other agencies began, much about the assault in Texas remained unclear. Department of Homeland Security officials said the Army would take the lead in the investigation.
A federal law enforcement official said the F.B.I. was sending more agents to join the inquiry. On Thursday night, F.B.I. agents were interviewing residents of a townhouse complex in the Washington suburb of Kensington, Md., where Major Hasan had lived before moving to Texas.
Mr. Obama called the shootings “a horrific outburst of violence” and urged Americans to pray for those who were killed and wounded.
“It is difficult enough when we lose these men and women in battles overseas,” he said. “It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”
The president pledged “to get answers to every single question about this horrible incident.”
Military records indicated that Major Hasan was single, had been born in Virginia, had never served abroad and listed “no religious preference” on his personnel records. Three other soldiers, their roles unclear, were taken into custody in connection with the rampage. The office of Representative John Carter, Republican of Texas, said they were later released, but a Fort Hood spokesman could not confirm that. General Cone said that more than 100 people had been questioned during the day.
Fort Hood, near Killeen and 100 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth, is the largest active duty military post in the United States, 340 square miles of training and support facilities and homes, a virtual city for more than 50,000 military personnel and some 150,000 family members and civilian support personnel. It has been a major center for troops being deployed to or returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The base went into lockdown shortly after the shootings. Gates were closed and barriers put up at all entrance and exit checkpoints, and the military police turned away all but essential personnel. Schools on the base were closed, playgrounds were deserted and sidewalks were empty. Sirens wailed across the base through the afternoon, a warning to military personnel and their families to remain indoors.
Military commanders were instructed to account for all personnel on the base.
“The immediate concern is to make sure that all of our soldiers and family members are safe, and that’s what commanders have been instructed to do,” said Jay Adams of the First Army, Division West, at Ford Hood.
General Cone said the shooting took place about 1:30 p.m., inside a complex of buildings that he called a Soldier Readiness Processing Center. The type of weapons used was unclear, and it was not known whether the gunman had reloaded, although it seemed likely, given that 43 people were shot, perhaps more than once.
All the victims were gunned down “in the same area,” General Cone said.
As the shootings ended, scores of emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, which is in the center of the fort, and dozens of ambulances carried the shooting victims to hospitals in the region.
Both of the handguns used by Major Hasan were recovered at the scene, officials said. Investigators said the major’s computers, cellphones and papers would be examined, his past investigated and his friends, relatives and military acquaintances would be interviewed in an effort to develop a profile of him and try to learn what had motivated his deadly outburst.
Major Hasan was assigned to the Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.
The weapons used in the attack were described as “civilian” handguns. Security experts said the fact that two handguns had been used suggested premeditation, as opposed to a spontaneous act.
Rifles and assault weapons are conspicuous and not ordinarily seen on the streets of a military post, and medical personnel would have no reason to carry any weapon, they said. Moreover, security experts noted, it took a lot of ammunition to shoot 43 people, another indication of premeditation.
It appeared certain that the shootings would generate a whole new look at questions of security on military posts of all the armed forces in the United States. Expressions of dismay were voiced by public officials across the country.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council, speaking for many American Muslims, condemned the shootings as a “heinous incident” and said, “We share the sentiment of our president.”
The council added, “Our entire organization extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed as well as those wounded and their loved ones.”
General Cone said Fort Hood was “absolutely devastated.”
News of the shooting set off panic among families and friends of the base personnel. Alyssa Marie Seace’s husband, Pfc. Ray Seace Jr., sent her a text message just before 2 p.m. saying that someone had “shot up the S.R.P. building,” referring to the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. He told her he was “hiding.”
Ms. Seace, 18, who lives about five minutes from the base and had not been watching the news, reacted with alarm. She texted him back but got no response. She called her father in Connecticut, who told her not to call her husband because it might reveal his hiding place.
Finally, 45 minutes later, her husband, a mechanic who is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in February, texted back to say that three people from his unit had been hit and that a dozen people in all were dead.
By late afternoon, the sirens at Fort Hood had fallen silent. In Killeen, state troopers were parked on ridges overlooking the two main highways through town. In residential areas, the only signs of life were cars moving through the streets. In the business districts, people went about their business.
In 1991, Killeen was the scene of one of the worst mass killings in American history. A gunman drove his pickup truck through the window of a cafeteria, fatally shot 22 people with a handgun, then killed himself.
Fort Hood, opened in September 1942 as America geared up for World War II, was named for Gen. John Bell Hood of the Confederacy. It has been used continuously for armor training and is charged with maintaining readiness for combat missions.
It is a place that feels, on ordinary days, like one of the safest in the world, surrounded by those who protect the nation with their lives. It is home to nine schools — seven elementary schools and two middle schools, for the children of personnel. But on Thursday, the streets were lined with emergency vehicles, their lights flashing and sirens piercing the air as Texas Rangers and state troopers took up posts at the gates to seal the base.
Shortly after 7 p.m., the sirens sounded again and over the loudspeakers a woman’s voice that could be heard all over the base announced in a clipped military fashion: “Declared emergency no longer exists.”
The gates reopened, and a stream of cars and trucks that had been bottled up for hours began to move out.
The new-style of attack relies not on the suicide bomb, or the al-Qaeda adherence to massive casualties, but on the shock of a gunman, or a handful of gunmen, opening fire in a place where people felt safe and secure - the luxury hotel, the police base, the US Army camp.
Lord West, the Security Minister, told a Commons committee last month that the prospect of such an attack in Britain was at the forefront of his mind. The minister said he and his team were "doing a lot of work" on "the Mumbai issue". He painted a bleak (and rather prophetic) picture of what might happen: "It is extremely difficult in an open society to stop there being initial casualties, if you have some men who have been trained to military standard, three or four of them, with relatively heavy weapons.
"The damage they can cause in the first few minutes is dramatic. One has to use other methods of intelligence and the agencies and all of these sorts of things; because if it gets to the stage where they are actually on their 159 bus going up Whitehall carrying that [firepower] you have got a problem."
I'm wondering how this new 'threat' of the 'enemy within' will start to inform thinking and policy.
edit: The Times article claims: Officials have not ruled out the possibility that some casualties may have been victims of “friendly fire", shot in the confusion at the scene.
This post has been edited by Bridget on Nov 6 2009, 10:02 AM
Posted: 2:45 pm PST November 5, 2009Updated: 2:10 am PST November 6, 2009 WASHINGTON -- His name appears on radical Internet postings. A fellow officer says he fought his deployment to Iraq and argued with soldiers who supported U.S. wars. He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients.
There are many unknowns about Nidal Malik Hasan, the man authorities say is responsible for the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base. Most of all, his motive. But details of his life and mindset, emerging from official sources and personal acquaintances, are troubling.
For six years before reporting for duty at Fort Hood, Texas, in July, the 39-year-old Army major worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing his career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and, last year, a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. He received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001.
While an intern at Walter Reed, Hasan had some "difficulties" that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.
Grieger said privacy laws prevented him from going into details but noted that the problems had to do with Hasan's interactions with patients. He recalled Hasan as a "mostly very quiet" person who never spoke ill of the military or his country.
"He swore an oath of loyalty to the military," Grieger said. "I didn't hear anything contrary to those oaths."
But, more recently, federal agents grew suspicious.
At least six months ago, Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades.
They had not determined for certain whether Hasan is the author of the posting, and a formal investigation had not been opened before the shooting, said law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case.
Federal law-enforcement agents ordered an evacuation of the apartment complex where Hasan lived in Killeen, Texas, Thursday night and conducted a search of his home, said Hilary Shine, director of public information for the city. She didn't say what was found during the search.
Officials said earlier that federal search warrants were being drawn up to authorize the seizure of his computer.
Retired Army Col. Terry Lee, who said he worked with Hasan, told Fox News that Hasan had hoped President Barack Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Lee said Hasan got into frequent arguments with others in the military who supported the wars, and had tried hard to prevent his pending deployment.
Hasan attended prayers regularly when he lived outside Washington, often in his Army uniform, said Faizul Khan, a former imam at a mosque Hasan attended in Silver Spring, Md. He said Hasan was a lifelong Muslim.
"I got the impression that he was a committed soldier," Khan said. He spoke often with Hasan about Hasan's desire for a wife.
On a form filled out by those seeking spouses through a program at the mosque, Hasan listed his birthplace as Arlington, Va., but his nationality as Palestinian, Khan said.
"I don't know why he listed Palestinian," Khan said, "He was not born in Palestine."
Nothing stood out about Hasan as radical or extremist, Khan said.
"We hardly ever got to discussing politics," Khan said. "Mostly we were discussing religious matters, nothing too controversial, nothing like an extremist."
Hasan earned his rank of major in April 2008, according to a July 2008 Army Times article.
He served eight years as an enlisted soldier. He also served in the ROTC as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg. He received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry there in 1997.
Group: J7 Forum Team
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ONE GUY IS SAYING THAT 2 SOLDIERS WHO WERE REFUSING TO DEPLOY AND HAD BEEN TRATED BY THE GOOD DOCTOR SHOT A BUNCH OF OTHER SOLDIERS WHO HAD COME TO BEAT THEM UP AND FORCE THEM TO DEPLOY. THAT WOULD EXPLAIN THE OTHER SUSPECTS AND OTHER GUNS. THIS STORY IF TRUE MEANS OUR MILITARY IS ON THE VERGE OF MUTINY! (Sent in by a reader)