Gunman had treated wounded soldiers
Hasan unhappy about call-up to serve in Iraq
WASHINGTON: The death toll left by an army psychiatrist who went on a shooting rampage at a US military base in Texas rose to 13 yesterday.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire with two handguns at the Fort Hood Army post on Thursday in one of the worst killing sprees ever reported on a US military base, officials said.
A woman died over night from gunshot wounds, raising the toll to 13 dead and 30 wounded, CNN reported.
Hasan, who was shot several times, was unconscious but in stable condition and on a ventilator, CNN said.
Lieutenant-General Robert Cone, Fort Hood’s commanding officer, told CNN the FBI and military forensic experts were investigating the shooting.
The army said the lone gunman opened fire at the Soldiers Readiness Processing Centre, a group of buildings where soldiers were getting medical check-ups before leaving for overseas deployments.
Cone said the gunman had two weapons, one a semi-automatic. He said there was no indication that they were military weapons and the evidence does not suggest the shooting was a terrorist attack.
Hasan, 39, is a military-trained psychiatrist, the son of Palestinian immigrants, and was raised in Virginia.
A cousin of the suspected shooter, Nader Hasan, told Fox News he had been ordered to serve in Iraq and had been resisting deployment there.
Hasan said his cousin had been transferred to Fort Hood in April and was very reluctant to go to Iraq.
“We’ve known over the last five years that was probably his worst nightmare.”
US president Barack Obama called it a “horrific outburst of violence” and promised “answers to every single question about this horrible incident”.
Fort Hood is home to about 50 000 troops and stretches across 878km 2 in central Texas.
● The top commander at Fort Hood is crediting a civilian police officer for stopping the shooting rampage.
Cone said yesterday that Fort Hood police Sergeant Kimberly Munley and her partner responded within three minutes of reported gunfire on Thursday.
Cone said Munley shot the gunman four times despite being shot herself.
Military officials said Munley was in stable condition.
Cone said, “It was an amazing and an aggressive performance by this police officer.”
Cone also said he was inspired by a woman who helped carry a wounded victim and used her blouse as a tourniquet, then later realised she’d been shot in the hip.
The gunman is hospitalised on a ventilator.
● Witnesses heard Hasan shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) as he opened fire, the base commander said.
Some soldiers in the vicinity said they heard him shout the words, Cone told NBC news.
DESPERATE: Monica Cain wipes her eye as she tries to get in touch with her husband Sergeant Darren Cain at Fort Hood.