Major Malik Nadal Hasan, age 39, opened fire at Fort Hood military base in central Texas on Thursday afternoon, unleashing a stream of gunfire that left 12 people dead and 31 wounded. A female police officer employed by the Department of Defense reportedly shot Hasan. Both Hasan and the police officer are hospitalized and listed in stable condition. Police apprehended two other suspects who have were later released. This appears to be the worst mass shooting to ever take place at a U.S. military installation.
The shooting began around 1:30 p.m., Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said at a news conference. He said all the casualties took place at the base's Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening.
Retired Army Col. Greg Schannep, an aide to Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), said he was heading for a 2 p.m. graduation ceremony on the base when he heard numerous shots and saw a wounded soldier run by. "Initially, I thought it was a training exercise," he said. Schannep said he heard three or four volleys of shots with eight to 12 shots in each volley. "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.
FBI agents are assisting the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, which was leading the probe.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, told Fox News that military sources informed her that the gunman was about to be deployed to Iraq. The shooter was killed and two other suspects, who are also soldiers, have been apprehended, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone said. The general said there were "eyewitness accounts of more than one shooter," and the others were tracked to an adjacent facility.
Hasan was born in Virginia and is a U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent.
Military records show Hasan receiving his appointment to the Army as a first lieutenant in June 1997 after graduating from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, with a degree in biochemistry.
Six years later, he graduated from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences' F. Edward Hebert School Of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, and was first an intern, then a resident and finally a fellow at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Hasan was promoted to Captain in 2003, he was promoted to Major in May.
In 2009, Hasan he completed a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry and was assigned to Darnall in July. He had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, but was never deployed outside the United States.
Hasan was reportedly scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan later this month.
Earlier today a law enforcement official said Hasan, believed to be in his late 30s, was killed after opening fire at the base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
A source told CBS news that Hasan is a licensed psychiatrist in Bethesda, Md. He is a drug and rehab specialist who received his Virginia psychiatry license July 12, 2005.
It was not known whether he was treating people at the base.
Officials says it was not clear what Hasan's religion was, but investigators are trying to determine if Hasan was his birth name or if he may have changed his name and converted to the Islamic faith at some point.