Three men were involved in the shootings that took place at Fort Hood, Texas, Thursday and resulted in the deaths of 12 soldiers. The Associated Press reported another 31 wounded. One man, Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan, was shot and killed after he opened fire on a gathering at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center, which is a medical screening facility for soldiers deploying and returning. Two other men, both soldiers, have been apprehended and are believed to be involved in what is the worst mass shooting attack on an American military base in history.
The shooter, Malik Nadal Hasan, a licensed psychiatrist from Virginia, used two handguns during the attack. It is unknown if he stopped to reload before he was killed. Investigators are also attempting to ascertain whether or not Malik Nadal Hasan was the Major’s real name.
Fort Hood was locked down after the shootings. The incident also caused military bases across the country to implement precautions.
President Barack Obama labeled the Fort Hood shootings “an horrific act of violence.” He said it was a “tragedy” to lose a soldier overseas but it was “horrifying” for an American soldier to come under fire in his own country. “We will make sure,” Obama vowed, “that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident. We are going to stay on this.”
Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the United States and is home to 52,000 soldiers.
Many are pointing to the strange coincidence that Fort Hood is in Killeen, Texas, site of the worst mass shooting in history until the Virginia Tech Massacre. In October of 1991, 35-yrar-old George Jo Hennard drove his pickup truck through the front of Luby’s Cafeteria. He shot and killed 23 people, wounded another 20, before turning the gun on himself.
Most are taking a closer look at Major Malik Nadal Hasan’s background. Besides being an Army mental health specialist, investigators are looking into Malik Nadal Hasan’s religious affiliations, whether or not he is a Muslim, if his name was changed and/or if it might be relevant to what occurred at Fort Hood.
In June a 23-year-old Muslim convert fired from a truck, killing one soldier outside a recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, and wounding another. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad fled the scene but was arrested just minutes later. He said that he was angry that the U. S. military was killing Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Fort Hood website simply reads “closed” and the message is posted: “Effective immediately, Fort Hood is closed. Organizations / units are instructed to execute a 100 percent accountability of all personnel. This is not a drill.”
Update: Although reported to have been killed, later reports revealed that Army Major Major Nadal Hasan was alive and in stable condition at a Fort Hood medical facility, where he was under heavy military guard. Hasan had been shot four times. According to Lt. General Bob Cone, Hasan’s death was “not imminent.”