I was in the car and out of pocket when the events at Fort Hood became known, so I’ll just put together the latest. Details are sketchy, but apparently 12 are dead and 31 wounded. Major Malik Nadal Hasan, a 39 year-old Army psychiatrist from Silver Spring, MD, recently transferred to Fort Hood from Walter Reed, has been named as the shooter (maybe not the only one – eyewitnesses say there was more than one shooter). He was killed in the attack. There’s a report from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison that he was about to be deployed to Iraq – that has been confirmed. He was apparently also a specialist in traumatic stress, who was the one soldiers came to when they wanted to discuss their PTSD. He was only at Fort Hood a few months.
That’s about all we know. Speculation beyond that is just that.
President Obama made some remarks about the shooting.
My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood. These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.
I’ve spoken to Secretary Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in. We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government.
In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers. We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident. And I want all of you to know that as Commander-in-Chief, there’s no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.
So we are going to stay on this. But I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy, and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers.