Update for the Fort Hood Shooting Tragedy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FORT HOOD, Texas -- The base commander at Fort Hood says soldiers who witnessed a shooting rampage that left 13 people dead reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire at the Texas post.

Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told NBC's "Today" show on Friday that suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, made the comment, which is Arabic for "God is great!" before the rampage Thursday that also left 30 people wounded.

Military officials say they are still piecing together what may have pushed Hasan, an Army psychiatrist trained to help soldiers in distress, to turn on his comrades.

Cone says Hasan was not known to be a threat or risk.

Hasan was shot four times during the rampage. Cone says he is hospitalized in stable condition and that military officials will interrogate him as soon as possible.

Defense department officials say the Army psychiatrist was slated for deployment to Iraq.

One of the military officials says Hasan was in the preparation stage of deployment, which can take months. The official said Hasan had indicated he didn't want to go to Iraq but was willing to serve in Afghanistan. The official did not have authorization to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A second military official said Hasan's family has Palestinian roots. There have been reports that he was harassed for his Muslim religion, but the official says there is no indication Hasan filed a complaint within the military about that.

A day of mourning was declared Friday at Fort Hood.

Col. Steve Braverman told a news conference that "everyone who is still alive is in stable condition." He says about half of the wounded soldiers required surgery.

The shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was shot and wounded during the yesterday's rampage and remained hospitalized on a ventilator.

Also, a civilian police officer working at Fort Hood is identified as the person who managed to shoot the suspected gunman four times.

Cone said Friday that Fort Hood police Sgt. Kimberly Munley and her partner responded within three minutes of reported gunfire Thursday afternoon. Cone said Munley shot the gunman four times despite being shot herself.

Officials said Munley was in stable condition.

Cone said, "It was an amazing and an aggressive performance by this police officer."

Cone also said he was inspired by a woman who helped carry a wounded victim and used her blouse as a tourniquet, then later realized she'd been shot in the hip.

The suspected gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, is hospitalized on a ventilator.

* Neighbor: Fort Hood Suspect Emptied His Apartment *

Neighbors say Hasan cleaned out his apartment and left a phone message saying goodbye to a friend.

Neighbor Patricia Villa says Hasan came over to her apartment Wednesday and Thursday and offered her some items,
including a new Quran, saying he was going to be deployed on
Friday.

Another neighbor, Jacqueline Harris, says Hasan called her
boyfriend, Willie Bell. Harris says "He just wanted to thank
Willie for being a good friend and thank him for being there for
him."
The manager of the apartment complex where Hasan lived says the
soldier was recently involved in a spat with another soldier living
there over Hasan's religious beliefs. John Thompson says a bumper
sticker that read "Allah is Love" was ripped from Hasan's car,
which was keyed.


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