KILLEEN, Texas (KXAN/AP/MSNBC) - Twelve died and another 31 were hurt in a mass shooting on FortHood that stunned the nation on Thursday.
Accused gunman Major Malik Nidal Hasan is alive and instable condition, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said at a Thursday evening newsconference just outside the storied military post - the largest inthe United States.
(Ed. note: Some videos attached to this story were filmed while Hasan was still believed dead.)
Counter to initial reports, the 39-year-old psychiatrist - whowas thought to be killed by local police - is hospitalized and notexpected to die of multiple gunshots wounds sustained during the1:30 p.m. attack. The local police officer who allegedly shot Hasanand injured him is in the hospital also in stable condition.
Cone also told reporters that Hasan - dressed in militaryclothes - was carrying one handgun and one semi-automatic weapon.But the fact that there were so many injured, apparently by oneman, "counter-intuitively, that is a concern," Cone said - spurringofficials to continue their investigation to make sure they haven'tmissed any other shooters.
"We secure[d] those buildings, question[ed] the individuals,questioned over 100 people at the scene that leads us to believeright now that it's a single shooter," said Lt. Gen. Cone.
Hasan was about to be deployed to Iraq and was "upset about it,"according to Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison washesitant to speculate about the motive of the shooting.
A source inside of Ft. Hood told KXAN Austin News that
President Obama was briefed on the situation on his way toanother event. He spoke at that event in response to theshootings.
"These are men and women who have made the selfless andcourageous decision to risk and at times give their lives toprotect the rest of us on a daily basis," said President Obama."It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans inbattles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fireat an Army base on American soil."
Police questioned two soldiers, who were apprehended at theSoldier Readiness Processing Center. Witnesses saw people exitingthe scene and entering other buildings, which led to thequestioning of these soldiers. They were later released after thepolice were done interrogating them. The shooter was wearing hisuniform. Hasan had a handgun and semi-automatic weapon. As ageneral policy, no one is allowed to have guns on the post,according to Lt. General Bob Cone with Ft. Hood.
The shootings took place inside the Howze Theater and at theSoldiers Readiness Processing Center - which used to be ansports-dome complex. To fully understand the location of these buildings, lookat this map. Ft. Hood is the largest militarypost in the world, with at least 40,000 soldiers.
Ft. Hood was on lockdown, but that was lifted at 6:50 p.m. Unitsat the post have been ordered to account for all personnel. Bothschool districts near the post - Temple ISD and Belton ISD - wereon lockdown, but that was lifted at 6:45 p.m. Students will not beallowed to walk home or ride a bus, however. Five Marble Falls HighSchool students -all juniors -were at Ft. Hood Thursday during theshooting. They were at the post during a Noon Rotary Club's JobShadowing program. They were on lockdown during the incident, butreturned safely to their parents at 9:45 p.m.
"No children located at Ft. Hood schools are being released toparents," said Leslie Gilmore, public information officer withKilleen ISD. "Students who would normally be transported from anoff-post school to Ft. Hood are being held on their off-postcampuses."
At 3:50 p.m., 500 armed soldiers were sweeping the area, to makesure everyone is safe. Ft. Hood officials are requesting assistancefrom the FBI to look into the background of the soldiers to see ifwe can find out anything. Sen. Hutchison said they are searchingroom by room to make sure everyone is safe.
According to an inside source, one soldier felt it necessary tocall his kids and parents just in case "he doesn't come home"during the shooting. The same source said "bullets [were] flyingeverywhere." Another source inside of the post said they walked outof the dentist's office after getting their wisdom teeth removedand say "three people [run] by [him] bloody."
Watch the raw footage of the scene:
Scott & White Memorial Hospital received nine gunshotvictims from Fort Hood. All patients are reported to be adults.
Thursday afternoon, Seton Medical Center in Round Rock, Texasreceived two victims, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Ahelicopter flew them to the hospital Emergency Director Dr. BrianAldred said he did not know if the two men were soldiers. One manwas in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds to the chestand abdomen, but was upgraded to serious condition after he cameout of emergency surgery at 6:30 p.m. The other man was in seriouscondition with gunshot wounds to the arm and chest, but doctorsupgraded him to good condition and hospital officials expect him toleave the hospital Thursday night.
Scott & White Hospital in Temple said they are in "urgentneed for blood donations" in response to the wounded.
President Obama commented later on the horrific events at Ft.Hood Thursday afternoon.
"As some of you might have heard, there has been a tragicshooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas," said PresidentObama. "We don't yet know all the details at this moment; we willshare them as we get them. What we do know is that a number ofAmerican soldiers have been killed, and even more have been woundedin a horrific outburst of violence. My immediate thoughts andprayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen,and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood."
"We are watching this terrible tragedy unfold," said ColonelWilliam Meehan at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. "Our hearts andsympathies are with the soldiers and their families at FortHood."
"We are stunned and we are saddened," said Gonda Moncada, aSergeant with Camp Mabry.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison released a statement on theshootings:
"I am shocked and saddened by today’s outburst of violence at Fort Hood that has cost seven of our brave service members their lives and has gravely injured others. My heart goes out to their loved ones. 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," said Sen. Hutchison.
Later on, CNN interviewed Sen. Hutchison about the incident.
"[Ft. Hood] is a sprawling facility," said Sen. Hutchison. "It'shuge and it is a major training base. It's a wonderful base andthey have beautiful subdivisions. In fact, they've been in theleadership for best housing for families. They have nine schools. Iknow they're taking care of these families right now because theyhave such a great facility to do that. This family will surroundthese people and do everything possible to ease their pain. It's atough situation. It's a really sad situation."
When asked what the soldiers were doing in the processingcenter, Hutchison said "I'm told that they were filling out paperprocessing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan."
Barbara Star, CNN's Pentagon anchor, was heard saying thesituation is "very, very troubling."
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who is chair of the Texas SenateCommittee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations released astatement regarding the shootings:
"My heart breaks for the soldiers and families who lost their lives and loved ones today at Ft. Hood. To return from the horrors of war, only to find that the nightmare is not over is heart-wrenching. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who lost their loved ones and the soldiers who were injured. As Veterans' Day approaches we should all be especially mindful of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces."
Texas Governor Rick Perry held a press conference after hearingof the Ft. Hood shootings when he was on his way up to Dallas foran event.
"Today's events are just a reminder for all of us about theimportant relationship we have with our military," said Gov. Perry."To honor those whose lives have been lost today, I've ordered theflags in our state to fly at half-staff until Sunday. I ask thatyou keep all these families and individuals in your prayers. Thisone of those instances where we have the right people on the scene.The incident manager for the Department of Public Safety is there.I may be on site, but not until I am not a distraction at any ofthe events that are going on there. Installation commanders havetaken the appropriate steps to secure the facility. They have inplay the type of activities and security precautions that areappropriate."
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst also had comments on the tragicshooting.
"I ask all Texans to please join me in sending their thoughtsand prayers to the victims of this horrible act," said Dewhurst."This tragedy is a reminder that every member of our U.S. ArmedServices is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,and in Texas we will do everything we can to continued to supportthe victims of today's mass shooting, their families and our entiremilitary community."
Sen. John Cornyn released a statement after hearing about theshooting.
"My heart goes out to the victims of the tragedy that occurred today at Fort Hood, as well as their families. Fort Hood is one of our nation's finest and largest military installations, and a place that has long been a source of pride for Texans, and for all Americans who value the selfless service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. It is imperative that we take the time to gather all the facts, as it would be irresponsible to be the source of rumors or inaccurate information regarding such a horrific event. Once we have ascertained all the facts, working with our military leaders and law enforcement officials on the ground, we can determine what exactly happened at Fort Hood today and how to prevent something like this from ever happening again. We do not yet have these details. My prayers are with the individuals who were killed today, the wounded and their loved ones."
Vice President Joe Biden sent out a statement also.
"Jill and I join the President and Michelle in expressing our sympathies to the families of the brave soldiers who fell today. We are all praying for those who were wounded and hoping for their full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Fort Hood community as they deal with this senseless tragedy."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largestMuslim civil liberties and advocacy organization said thefollowing:
"We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possibleand ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of thelaw. No political or religious ideology could ever justify orexcuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. The attack wasparticularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer armythat protects our nation. American Muslims stand with our fellowcitizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincerecondolences to the families of those killed or injured."
Prairie View A&M University planned a "March for Peace" at 6p.m. CST near the university's memorial fountain in response to theshootings. Prairie View is approximately three-and-a-half hourssoutheast of Killeen.
Winter is invading Texas with a vengeance as snow, sleet and ice were unleashed on much of northern and western sections of the state.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.
Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.