NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

12 Dead, 31 Wounded In Attacks At Fort Hood

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Army investigators have released two soldiers from custody after clearing them of suspicion in a deadly rampage that left 12 dead and 31 wounded. But Fort Hood spokesman Christopher Haug says that a third person was in custody.

Military officials in Washington say the suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for six years before being transferred to the Texas base in July.

He is a graduate of Virginia Tech University, where he was a member of the ROTC and earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1997. He received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001. At Walter Reed, he did his internship, residency and a fellowship.

The soldier is accused of opening fire on the base on Thursday.

Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison says the Army major accused of the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, was about to deploy overseas. Hutchison says she was told about the upcoming deployment by generals based at Fort Hood. But it was unclear if he was headed to Iraq or Afghanistan and exactly when he was scheduled to leave.

Federal law enforcement officials say the suspected shooter had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.

The officials say the postings appeared to have been made by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was killed during the shooting incident. The officials say they are still trying to confirm that he was the author. They say an official investigation was not opened.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

One of the Web postings that authorities reviewed is a blog that equates suicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades.

The Texas Rangers will assist the military Criminal Investigations Division and FBI with the investigation into the Thursday shootings at Fort Hood.

In a statement from Gov. Rick Perry's office, Perry said the move comes at the request of the Fort Hood commanding general.

The Texas Rangers are an elite investigative force within the Texas Department of Public Safety. They'll join DPS troopers and helicopters in securing the Fort Hood perimeter.

A U.S. Army spokesman says the Fort Hood shootings suspect is alive and was not killed by authorities responding to the attack. Lt. Gen. Bob Cone also says the death toll from the attack remains 12 after another victim died.

Authorities said immediately after Thursday's attack that they had killed the suspected shooter. But Cone now says the suspected shooter is alive and stable condition.

Cone offered little explanation to reporters at a news conference as to why the suspect was believed dead, saying only there was confusion at the hospital.