12 killed, 31 wounded at Fort Hood army base
Malik Nadal Hasan, the US Army major who allegedly shot dead 12 people and injured 31 others in a rampage at the army base in Fort Hood, is alive and was likely the lone shooter behind the deadly incident, military officials say.
“The evidence does not suggest” that this was a terrorist act, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone told the press Thursday evening.
The officer said Hasan is hospitalized and is in stable condition after being shot by a first responder. “His death is not imminent,” Cone said.
That first responder, a female civilian police officer, was initially reported to have died in the shootout. She is now reported to be in stable condition in hospital.
Lt. Gen. Cone explained that the high casualty count was due to the fact that the shooting took place in two adjacent facilities that were crowded with military personnel. And the shooter may have had a semi-automatic rifle, the lieutenant-general said. Initial reports suggested the shooter had been armed only with two handguns.
Media reports over the course of the day indicate that Hasan was an army psychiatrist who had been promoted to major in May, and was due to ship out to Iraq. Some news stations reported that Hasan was upset about his deployment.
ABC News reports that Fort Hood has lost more soldiers in the Iraq war than any other US military base. Since the war began, 482 Fort Hood soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq. Some 15,000 Fort Hood soldiers are deployed in Iraq at present.
Officials are confirming that 12 people have been killed and 31 wounded at the army base at Fort Hood, Texas.
Lt. Gen. Bob Cone told a press conference that all the deaths took place in the base’s readiness facility, where soldiers are prepared for deployment. A civilian police officer was among the casualties.
Cone confirmed that one shooter was killed on the scene. That person’s identity has not officially been released, but ABC News had identified him as Major Malik Nadal Hasan.
Authorities have two other suspects in custody, but have not said if they were involved in the incident.
President Barack Obama described the incident as “a horrific outburst of violence” at the end of a speech to Native Americans.
“My immediate thoughts are with the wounded and the families of the fallen, and those who live and serve at Fort Hood,” the president said. “It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire on an army base on home soil.”
Obama said the Pentagon, the FBI and Homeland Security are all involved in the response to the tragedy.
The shooting at the army base in Fort Hood, Texas, took place “minutes” before the start of a graduation ceremony for soldiers who had obtained degrees from extension schools, says a report from McClatchy news service.
KCEN-TV reported around 4:30 pm ET that there may have been more shots fired on the base, some three hours after the initial incident began.
MSNBC is reporting that two suspected shooters are in custody and there may be a third on the loose. The latest reports peg the number of deaths at seven, though CNN is now reporting that as many as nine people may have died. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has reportedly stated that the number of wounded has reached 30. She told CNN that one of the gunmen was wounded in the incident.
Details of the events were sketchy, but officials said the shooting involved two men — at least one of them in uniform — with M-16 rifles and began about 1:30 p.m. Central time at Howze Theater on the base, then moved to the sports complex, where the graduation ceremony honroing soldiers who had obtained degrees from extension schools was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
The sports center is frequently used for welcome and departure ceremonies for troops headed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
One gunman was reportedly in custody and another may have been cornered. It was unknown whether the victims were soldiers or civilians. Officials at the Pentagon said the wounded were taken to Darnell Army Hospital for treatment.
Federal officials are saying that the shooting at the army post in Fort Hood, Texas, is an “all-military” incident, dispelling fears that it may have been a terrorist attack.
Unnamed officials told MSNBC that all the victims are military service members, as are the alleged shooters, of whom one is in custody and reportedly two more are still on the loose. Latest reports indicate seven people have been killed and 20 others wounded.
CNN reports that White House staffers have gathered in the situation room to monitor the incident, and the president has been notified.
Seven people are dead and at least a dozen more injured in a shooting at the army post at Fort Hood, Texas.
MSNBC is reporting that one gunman is in custody and as many as two more may be on the loose. Schools in the area have reportedly been put in lock-down.
One of the shooters may have a high-powered sniper rifle, MSNBC is reporting. CNN reports the number of wounded may be as high as 15.
According to KWTX-TV in Waco, Texas, reports that “ambulances and police are converging on a location in the center of the sprawling military post.”
The station quotes Fort Hood officials as saying the area is “not secure.”
Fort Hood has seen other violence in recent years. In September 2008, a 21-year-old 1st Cavalry Division soldier shot his lieutenant to death and then killed himself. Spc. Jody Michael Wirawan of Eagle River, Alaska. shot himself to death after shooting 1st Lt. Robert Bartlett Fletcher, 24, of Jensen Beach, Fla. to death.
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This video is from MSNBC’s News Live, broadcast Nov. 5, 2009.