FORT HOOD (November 5, 2009)—Ft. Hood released a statement early Friday morning raising the death toll from Thursday's shooting to 13.
The Fort Hood psychiatrist suspected of opening fire at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the post’s busy Soldier Readiness Center in a rampage that left those 13 dead and now 30 injured was under guard at Scott & White Hospital Thursday night while investigators tried to determine the motive for the violence.
Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, who officials initially thought was among the dead, was not cooperating with investigators, Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen Bob Cone said Thursday night.
Hasan is the soldier suspected of walking into the center armed with two handguns and opening fire on fellow troops.
A civilian female whom Cone identified as a first responder was the first person to fire at Hasan, who was hit at least four times.
“Earlier it was reported that one victim that was killed was a female civilian officer, Cone said.
“We now know that the female officer is alive, just out of surgery and in stable condition.
“She is believed to be the first responder who shot the suspect,” Cone said.
After the shooting ended, Cone said, soldiers who were not injured immediately began to administer first aid to the wounded, ripping off their uniforms to make crude bandages.
A 1st Cavalry Division sergeant who witnessed the shooting rampage said, “It was over quick, but it still seemed like a long time.”
"When everything went off it was chaos and everyone was running everywhere,” he said.
"This really got everyone shaken."
"Most of the guys were both sad and angered,” he said.
An MP who was among the first to arrive after the shooting said he saw soldiers tending to the victims including Hasan, who he said was wearing only military issue pants and boots.
He described the scene as controlled chaos.
Two other soldiers were taken into custody after the shooting, but a spokesman for Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said they were later released.
Fort Hood was locked down after the shooting, but the lockdown ended Thursday evening.
The post set up a hotline for relatives of Fort Hood personnel, who may call (254) 288-7570 or (866) 836-2751 for information about loved ones.
The nine Killeen ISD schools on post were locked down until the post was secured and parents were allowed to drive to campuses to pick up their children.
All available ambulances and paramedics in the area responded to the post in response to the shooting.
Some of the wounded were taken to Darnall Army Medical Center and 10 others including Hasan were flown or taken by ambulance to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
A charge nurse at Darnall said the hospital had been alerted to prepare for mass casualties and had cleared non-essential personnel from the emergency room.
She said some of the injured soldiers arrived in the arms of other soldiers, some of whom had less serious injuries themselves.
Scott & White's Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Glenn Couchman said Scott & White’s Command Center was mobilized and additional operating rooms were opened.
The hospital was closed to the public Thursday night as attention was focused on the victims and families and to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
Four soldiers were taken to Seton Hospital in Williamson County and two, who were grazed by gunfire, were treated and then released.
The other two required surgery and were both in stable condition Thursday night.
The Temple VA offered assistance to Ft. Hood and will be providing pharmaceutical supplies.
The VA set aside 14 beds in case more room is needed and remain on standby for more info from Ft. Hood.
“It is truly overwhelming the offers of support that we have had at the national and local level, in dealing with this situation,” Cone said.
Friday, he said, “we will observe a day of mourning, local Schools will be open and we will move back to normalcy as soon as possible.”
The FBI and the Texas Rangers are assisting Fort Hood investigators.
Late Thursday night, Fort Hood, local and federal officers were at the two-story apartment complex where Hasan lived at 1801 N. 4th St. in Killeen.
Officers surrounded and evacuated the complex late Thursday afternoon.
About 20 residents were taken to the Killeen Community Center.
ATF agents and Fort Hood’s bomb squad were checking the building before investigators entered Hasan’s apartment to begin a search.
Hasan spent six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before he was transferred to Fort Hood in July, officials told The Associated Press.
He was scheduled for deployment.
The officials, who had access to Hasan's military record, said he received a poor performance evaluation while at Walter Reed.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because military records are confidential.
Federal law enforcement officials said Hasan came to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.
The officials said Hasan appeared to have made the postings, but said they are still trying to determine if he was the author.
One of the Web postings that authorities reviewed is a blog that equates suicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades.
President Barack Obama called a mass shooting a "horrific outburst of violence."
He said he doesn't yet know all the details but promised the government would get "answers to every single question."
The commander in chief says it's a tragedy to lose a soldier overseas and even more horrifying when they come under fire at an Army base on American soil.
Obama also said his thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and families of the fallen.
Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, issued a statement in which he said, “The soldiers and families of Fort Hood have served our nation with distinction and made tremendous sacrifices for all of us so I am heart-broken to learn that this terrible tragedy has occurred.
“My family’s thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and loved ones.”
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said she was shocked and saddened by the violence.
“Our dedicated military personnel have sacrificed so much in service to our country, and it sickens me that the men and women of Fort Hood have been subjected to this senseless, random violence. I know all Americans share this concern for the soldiers and their families who are affected by this tragedy,” she said.