(Post title updated. – ST 10:17 PM)
Disturbing news via Fox:
A shooting rampage Thursday afternoon at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas killed 11 and wounded 31 before the gunman was killed and two suspects taken into custody.
All three of the people believed to have carried out the shooting were soldiers, Lt. General Bob Cone told reporters Thursday evening, though the motive remains unclear.
AP cites an unnamed source saying the gunman was Major Malik Nadal Hasan, though authorities have not publicly identified him.
Cone said witnesses reported seeing more than one shooter, but that couldn’t be confirmed. The primary shooter used two handguns, he said.
The shooting took place 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the post’s Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers undergo medical screening before being deployed or after returning from overseas.
Sound like a case Army infiltration? We know rad Islamists have targeted the military here at home before. At least the CIC had the decency to condemn the incident immediately after finding out about it, rather than waiting for days like he did the last time.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. More details to come as soon as they are available.
Random thoughts: Assuming this is the act of a jihadi – or jihadis – in the name of “Allah,” a show of hands how many of you think The Usual Suspects will demand more intense scrutiny on stateside Islamists as they have this year each time an act of brutality has been committed by an alleged “radical right winger”?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Update 1 – 6:39 PM: Lots of updates at The Jawa Report.
Update 2 – 6:41 PM: Via ABC:
The suspected gunman was identified by ABC News as Major Malik Nadal Hasan.
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.
Hasan allegedly opened fire and killed 11 people on the base before he was shot, bringing the total number of fatalities to 12.
Here’s more on Fort Hood itself, via the UK Times Online:
Fort Hood is the largest military base in America, has lost more soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other military facility, and after eight years of constant deployments had more than its fair share of highly stressed soldiers and dependents even before last night’s shootings.
In June 2007 The Times was given two days’ access to the sprawling 340-square-mile base, which is home to 70,000 people and adjoins the central Texas town of Killeen — an ugly conglomeration of fast-food restaurants, motels and shopping malls with all the usual accroutements of a military town: swathes of low-rent housing, pawn shops, loan sharks and an unmistakable air of transience. Even then the strains of war were obvious.
The 1st Cavalty and 4th Infantry Divisions had already lost 685 men and women, their names recorded on memorials in the two divisions’ respective parade grounds and many of the casualties buried in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery on a hillside just outside Killeen.
Those names and graves were not the only way of measuring the toll that Iraq in particular was exacting on the base. Paul Dirksmeyer, a chaplain of the 1st Cavalry Division, spoke of the “emotional carnage” — the broken marriages, the mental afflictions of returning soldiers, the frayed nerves of the families left behind, the occasional suicides, desertions and instances of soldiers suddenly running amock.
The links on this developing story are piling up at Memeorandum. Stay tuned …
Update 3 – 7:34 PM: Andy McCarthy has more on Major Nadal Malik Hasan, the dead gunman:
Major Nadal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old Muslim convert, was born and educated in Virginia. He is a psychiatrist who worked at Walter Reed for six years (and got a poor performance evaluation there). Hasan was transferred to Ft. Hood and worked at the psych ward there. He complained about deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fox has interviewed someone who worked with him at Ft. Hood (Terry Lee) who says he was a harsh critic of U.S. foreign policy who said Muslims had a right to stand up and fight against the aggressor in Iraq and Afghanistan — i.e., us.
Update 5 – 10:21 PM: The latest: Multiple news outlets are reporting that it was a lone gunman, not three as intially reported and that the lone gunman – Major Nadal Malik Hasan – is not dead but in fact alive, and is in police custody. Fox News reports:
A military doctor who reportedly feared an impending war deployment is in custody as the sole suspect in a shooting rampage at the Army’s Fort Hood that left 12 dead and at least 30 wounded, an Army official said Thursday night.
The news that the suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was alive and in stable condition, came as a sudden reversal of early reports that the gunman was among the dead.
“I would say his death is not imminent,” Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said. Col. Ben Danner said the suspect was shot at least four times.
Two other soldiers who were taken into custody as possible suspects were released Cone told reporters Thursday evening.
A female first responder who shot at Hasan and was previously thought to be dead, was also alive, Cone said.
Federal law enforcement officials say Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.
The officials say they are still trying to confirm that he was the author.
One of the Web postings that authorities reviewed is a blog that equates homicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades.