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Army: 12 dead, 31 hurt in attack at Fort Hood TX   Leave a comment

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FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — An Army psychiatristset to be shipped overseas opened fire at the Fort Hood Army postThursday, authorities said, a rampage that killed 12 people and left 31wounded in the worst mass shooting ever at a military base in theUnited States.
The gunman, first said to havebeen killed, was wounded but alive in a hospital under military guard,said Lt. Gen. Bob Cone at Fort Hood. He was shot four times, and was ona ventilator and unconscious, according to military officials. “I wouldsay his death is not imminent,” Cone said.
The man was identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old from Virginia.
PresidentBarack Obama called the shooting at the Soldier Readiness Center, wheresoldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergomedical screening, “a horrific outburst of violence.”
“It’sdifficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battlesoverseas,” the commander in chief said. “It is horrifying that theyshould come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”
Soldiersrushed to treat their injured colleagues by ripping their uniforms intomakeshift bandages. Officials have not ruled out the possibility thatsome casualties may have been victims of “friendly fire,” shot byauthorities amid the mayhem and confusion at the scene, said a seniorU.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss mattersthat were under investigation.
(Written story continues below this video)
Hasan hadtransferred to Fort Hood in July from Walter Reed Medical Center, wherehe received a poor performance evaluation, according to an official whospoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized todiscuss the case publicly.
Sen. Kay BaileyHutchison, R-Texas, said generals at Fort Hood told her that Hasan wasabout to deploy overseas. Retired Col. Terry Lee, who said he hadworked with Hasan, told Fox News he was being sent to Afghanistan.
Leesaid Hasan had hoped Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan andIraq and got into frequent arguments with others in the military whosupported the wars.
Faizul Khan, a formerimam at a mosque Hasan attended in Silver Spring, Md., said he spokeoften with Hasan about how Hasan wanted to find a wife. Hasan was alifelong Muslim and attended prayers regularly, often in his Armyuniform, Khan said.
The shooter used two pistols, one of them semiautomatic. Neither were military-issued, Col. Ben Danner said.
Videofrom the scene showed police patrolling the area with handguns andrifles, ducking behind buildings for cover. Sirens could be heardwailing while a woman’s voice on a public-address system urged peopleto take cover.
“I was confused and justshocked,” said Spc. Jerry Richard, 27, who works at the center but wasnot on duty during the shooting. “Overseas you are ready for it. Buthere you can’t even defend yourself.”
Soldiers at Fort Hood don’t carry weapons unless they are doing training exercises.
TheRev. Greg Schannep was about to head into a graduation ceremony when aman in uniform approached him, warning him that someone had openedfire. Schannep heard three volleys of gunfire and saw people running.
“Therewas a burst of shots and more bursts of shots and people runningeverywhere,” said Schannep, who works for local Congressman John Carter.
Theuniformed man who had warned him ran to the theater. Schannep said hecould see the man’s back was bloodied from a wound. The man survived,was treated and will be fine, Schannep said.
Conesaid initially three people were held, and all have been interviewed.Authorities believe, however, that there was a single shooter. InWashington, the senior U.S. official said authorities at Fort Hoodinitially thought one of the slain victims was the shooter, a mistakethat resulted in a delay of several hours in identifying Hasan as thesuspect.
The Soldier Readiness Center holdshundreds of people and is one of the most populated parts of the base,said Steve Moore, a spokesman for III Corps at Fort Hood. Nearby thereare barracks and a food center where there are fast food chains.
Thewounded were dispersed among hospitals in central Texas, Cone said.Their identities, and the identities of the dead, were not immediatelyreleased.
Amber Bahr, 19, was shot in the stomach but was in stable condition, said her mother, Lisa Pfund of Random Lake, Wis.
“Weknow nothing, just that she was shot in the belly,” Pfund told TheAssociated Press. She couldn’t provide more details and only spoke withemergency personnel.
Hasan, whose family saidhe was born in suburban Washington, is single with no children. Hegraduated from Virginia Tech, where he was a member of the ROTC andearned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1997. He received hismedical degree from the military’s Uniformed Services University of theHealth Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001 and was at Walter Reed forsix years for his internship, residency and a fellowship.
“Weare shocked and saddened by the terrible events at Fort Hood today,”his cousin, Nadar Hasan, said in a statement issued on behalf of theirfamily. “We send the families of the victims our most heartfeltsympathies.”
The attack happened just downthe road from one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. On Oct.16, 1991, George Hennard smashed his pickup truck through a Luby’sCafeteria window in Killeen, Texas, and fired on the lunchtime crowdwith a high-powered pistol, killing 22 people and wounding at least 20others.
No other shooting at a military basein the U.S. has been anywhere near as deadly as Thursday’s. In 1993, agunman at Fort Knox shot five civilian co-workers, killing three, andthen fatally shot himself.

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Posted November 6, 2009 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Fort Hood Texas Shooting