Army psychiatrist identified as attacker captured
In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 photo, emergency personnel transport an unidentified soldier from the Soldier Readiness Center following a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo credit: David Morris — Killeen Daily Herald / AP)
NBC News and MSNBC.com
November 5, 2009
An Army psychiatrist who opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others, was shot but captured alive, military officials said late Thursday.
The gunman, identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was wounded at the scene but was captured alive and was in stable condition, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of the Army’s III Corps, said at a press conference late Thursday.
Eleven of the victims died at the scene, military officials said. Two died later at a hospital, NBC station KCEN-TV of Waco reported. Cone said that most of those who were shot were military but two were civilians.
Cone also said that a female officer who was thought to be the first responder shot Hasan and was herself wounded and had undergone surgery at a hospital. It was not clear if the officer was a military policewoman or a civilian officer.
Col. Ben Danner said the suspect was shot at least four times. “I would say his death is not imminent,” Cone said, adding that Hasan was in custody at a hospital.
U.S. officials said Hasan was an Army psychiatrist, NBC News reported. Defense officials said Hasan, 39, arrived at Fort Hood in July after practicing for six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, which included a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry. …
Deployment to Iraq
There was no official word on motive. But Hasan was scheduled to be deployed overseas on Nov. 28, officials said. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said military officials had told her that Hasan was “pretty upset” about his deployment, which she said was to be to Iraq.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan was described as ‘upset’ about his pending deployment to Iraq.
The Associated Press, quoting federal law enforcement officials, said Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats. The officials said they were still trying to confirm that he was the author. …
Two handguns used
Cone said the gunman used two handguns. He said that military officials believed that there was a single shooter. …
A senior administration official told NBC News that the shootings could have been a criminal matter rather than a terrorism-related attack and that there was no intelligence to suggest a plot against Fort Hood. …
Reminders of 1991 massacre
Fort Hood, one of the largest military complexes in the world, was put on lockdown until about 7 p.m. ET, as were schools in the area. Dozens of agents of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the post, federal officials said. …
The base is surrounded by the town of Killeen, where a man shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s restaurant in October 1991. …
Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama called the shootings a “horrific outburst.”
“It’s difficult enough when we lose these great Americans in battles overseas,” Obama said at the Interior Department. “It’s horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”
Noting the Arabic nature of the gunman’s name, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington interest group, condemned “this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possible and ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law.” …
Shootings in deployment center
Emergency Services officials at Fort Hood said the incident began about 1:30 p.m. CT when the gunman opened fire in the Soldiers’ Readiness Processing Center on the west side of the base. A spokesman for the base, Sgt. Major Jamie Posten, said the processing center was where soldiers “cycle through as they prepare to deploy.” …
The sprawling Fort Hood complex is home to at least 4,929 active-duty officers and 45,414 enlisted. Civilian employees total nearly 9,000. …
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 killing 1st Lt. Robert Bartlett Fletcher, 24, of Jensen Beach, Fla. …
Related reports on this site
This is not the first time that one of our soldiers turned on his own. On May 11, 2009, U.S. Army Sgt. John M. Russell, nearing the end of his third deployment to Iraq, shot and killed five fellow soldiers at a counseling center on a military base in Iraq – a Navy psychologist, an Army doctor, and three enlisted personnel. That attack drew attention to the issues of combat stress and morale among soldiers serving multiple combat tours.
GI Opens Fire on U.S. Troops in Iraq (May 12, 2009)
Army Ponders Suicide Prevention (Feb. 7, 2009)
Army: Stunning Spike in Suicides (Feb. 6, 2009)
Army Issues Statement on Suicides (Jan. 23, 2009)
Military Suicides Probed (Dec. 23, 2008)
1. Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, Havre de Grace, Md.
2. Maj. Libardo Caraveo, 52, Woodbridge, Va.
3. Cpt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, San Diego, Calif.
4. Cpt. Russell Seager, 41, Racine, Wis.
5. Staff Sgt. Justin Decrow, 32, Plymouth, Ind.
6. Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, Kiel, Wis.
7. Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, Mountain City, Tenn.
8. Spc. Jason Hunt, 22, Tillman, Okla.
9. Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, 19, West Jordan, Utah
10. Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, Bolingbrook, Ill.
11. Pfc.Kham Xiong, 23, St. Paul, Minn.
12. Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, Chicago, Ill.
13. Civilian Michael G. Cahill, Cameron, Texas
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 5, 2008
Afghan men examine a house allegedly destroyed by U.S. airstrikes in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo credit: Humayoun Shiab / EPA)
One year ago today, the day after Election Day 2008, Afghan president Hamid Karzai congratulated Barack Obama on his election as president of the United States and called on him to halt civilian casualties after U.S. warplanes bombed a wedding party — killing 37, mostly children — saying airstrikes cannot win the fight against terrorism.
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