- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 5, 2009

UPDATED:

Twelve people were killed and 31 injured during a shooting rampage Thursday afternoon at Fort Hood Army base in central Texas, according to the base’s commanding officer.

A law enforcement official identified the shooter as Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, who is currently hospitalized. The official spoke to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to discuss the case.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Texas Republican, would not identify the shooter during an interview with Fox News, but did say the shooter had told people he was upset about the possibility of being deployed.

Gen. Cone said during a televised press conference outside that base that the shootings took place about 1:30 p.m., and that all those killed and injured were soldiers.

Gen. Cone said the shooter used two handguns.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, said it was too soon to attribute motives to the killers. The killings took place at two nearby “readiness centers,” administrative buildings where soldiers are processed for medical records before going to the front or returning home from a tour.

In this case, there was a scheduled graduation ceremony scheduled for one of the base’s continuing education programs. Ft. Hood is the largest geographical base for the U.S. military and one of the two largest in terms of population. The central Texas facility is host to the US III Corps as well as the 1st Cavalry division for the U.S. military. The US III Corps routinely fills the operational command structure for Multinational Forces Iraq.

“We expect Fort Hood will continue its missions deployed overseas and at home,” Col. Garver said.

President Barack Obama called the shooting “horrific.”

“We will make sure that we get answers to every question about this horrible incident,” Mr. Obama said Thursday while speaking at summit of Native American tribes.

Ft. Hood, in Killeen, Texas, is the largest U.S. military base in the world — home to roughly 34,000 people on 160,000 acres. The base is used to send and bring back soldiers in the war of terror.