13 Killed During Fort Hood Shootings; Alleged Shooter in Custody
FORT HOOD, TEXAS -- (UPDATE) U.S. Army officials have confirmed that the alleged shooter in the military-base massacre that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded was in stable condition.
Army Col. Steven Bravermans said the alleged shooter, military psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, hadn't been a disciplinary issue since recently being transferred to Fort Hood from Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. Col. Braverman declined to elaborate on the man at the center of the rampage, noting that a detailed probe was ongoing.
"We had no problems with job performance while he was working with us," said Col. Braverman, one of Maj. Hasan's superiors.
Army Col. John Rossi called Thursday's shooting a "tragic incident" and said that investigators had spent the night carefully interviewing witnesses. Officials disclosed that one of the 13 killed in the shooting was a civilian, while the rest were members of the military.
Half of those who hospitalized required surgery and are in stable condition, Col. Braverman said.
The shooting rampage Thursday was halted by a female civilian police officer who shot him, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the top military commander on the base. Sgt. Kimberly Munley and her partner responded within three minutes of reported gunfire. She was reported in stable condition Friday and is expected to recover from wounds sustained in the gun battle.
Maj. Hasan, 39 years old, was hospitalized after the shooting, Lt. Gen. Cone said, and "his death is not imminent." He was on a ventilator and unconscious in a hospital after being shot four times during the shootings at the Army's sprawling Fort Hood, post officials said.
In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived.
Military officials added that they were probing how the alleged shooter may have gotten weapons into the base, where personnel other than civilian police don't typically carry weapons.
Maj. Hasan is originally from Virginia, and had been recently promoted to major during his time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before his transfer to Fort Hood. During his six years at Walter Reed, he was a fellow in disaster and preventative psychiatry.
Maj. Hasan was slated to serve for the first time in Afghanistan in coming weeks, military officials said. An official at the Pentagon added there were indications that Maj. Hasan was deeply upset about the pending assignment.
Scott & White Memorial Hospital, where the casualties will be taken, is calling for donations of all blood types. The hospital’s blood mobiles have been moved to the front of the hospital to hasten donations.
At 2 p.m. yesterday it was reported that Soldier’s Dome was not safe as a staging area for emergency responders who were en route.
“I was here for a 2 p.m. graduation,”Retired Army Col. Greg Schannep said. “A I drove up, I heard some shots. A soldier came running past me and said ‘sir there is someone shooting.’
“As he ran past me I saw blood on his back. I don’t think he even knew he had been shot. He has since been treated and should be OK,” he said.
“I can tell you there are casualties,” Schannep said.
“I heard three or four volleys of shots with eight to 12 shots in each volley. Initially, I thought it was a training exercise,” he said.
One ambulance reported four patients on board while en route to Fort Hood.
Another dispatch from an ambulance indicated one of the injured was a 24-year-old male with injuries to his abdomen and left arm. A 28-year-old pregnant woman was also transported to the hospital, but the report indicated she was suffering a possible anxiety attack.
Temple and Belton school districts went into a “soft lockdown” Thursday following the incident at Fort Hood.
TISD spokeswoman Regina Baird said the district was asked by the Temple Police Department to go into the lockdown, and that traffic coming in and out at the school was going to be limited.
Temple PD spokesman Brad Hunt said dismissal times at the school were going to remain the same as usual, and that the lockdown was a precaution because of the incident.
Hunt could not elaborate on any information he had about the incident, but did say there would be more officers on campus.
A spokeswoman for the Killeen ISD said all campuses located on post were on lockdown, which means no one in and no one out.
Elementary schools had early release and those children departed before the incident. Children in after-school programs are being held on Fort Hood campuses until further notice, as are middle school students on the post.
Students who would normally be transported from an off-post school to Fort Hood are being held in their off-post campuses.
All Killeen ISD activities for Thursday were canceled, including the Copperas Cove-Harker Heights football game scheduled for 7 p.m. at Leo Buckley Stadium.
Texas A&M-Central Texas locations were all canceled for Thursday.
Temple Fire & Rescue have sent three engines and 11 staff members to Fort Hood, according to Thomas Pechal, spokesman for Temple Fire & Rescue. The Temple SWAT team is on alert.