Yesterday afternoon there was breaking news that 11 people were dead and 31 wounded at Fort Hood, which is near Killeen, Texas. That death toll now stands at 13, with many others in critical condition. Twelve of the dead are reported to be soldiers; the suspected shooter is not among them. Major Nidal Hasan, M.D. M.P.H. did not die at the scene of the shooting, though he was shot four times. His injuries were treated at a nearby hospital, where he is in police custody. Hasan is in serious but stable condition, and has been transferred to a hospital in San Antonio, TX for safekeeping.
Investigators have learned that Major Hasan cleared his apartment the day before by giving away all his furniture. He told the takers that he was being deployed (first deployment) to Iraq and would not be back. He was caught on videotape at a 7-Eleven twice; once on Tuesday wearing traditional Arab garb — long white tunic and loose-fitting white pants. In India these are known as men's pajamas. Then, on Thursday, he was caught on camera wearing fatigues. We now know that this was a planned attack, because the weapons were two handguns. One of the handguns goes by the nickname "cop killer" because it pierces body armor. We also know that the types of guns he selected made him ready for the reloading part needed to kill as many as 100 soldiers, as he planned.
Since Major Hasan was wounded and not killed at the crime scene as earlier reported, the army just might get some answers to the questions that have been raised by such an assault. In my experience, those who plan to make a scene or start a fight always advertise their intent. Since the doctor's computers were also seized, IT specialists will be able to unravel the web of messages that are certain to be found, verifying that he not only planned these alleged crimes, but also that he made it known he was planning an assault. He probably fully expected to be killed by return fire from police or armed soldiers. While he killed 12 soldiers, it is ironic that a female officer, and mom, is the one who took him down. She shot him four times, putting him in critical condition.
Finally, kudos to the other soldiers who saved lives with their quick action. They tore garments in order to create makeshift tourniquets, and have been credited with saving lives at the scene before ambulances could arrive.