National Security

Details Emerge Of Fort Hood Shooter

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The suspected shooter in the deadly shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has been identified as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan. Two others who had been arrested have reportedly been released.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

And now we have a very remarkable update from Fort Hood, Texas. Just a few moments ago, the commanding officer of the post, Lieutenant General Bob Cone, held a briefing for reporters and revealed that indeed the man identified as the shooter, whom he earlier said was shot dead after the assault, is actually alive. Here's General Cone.

NORRIS: The investigation is ongoing. But preliminary reports indicate there was a single shooter that was shot multiple times at the scenes. However, he was not killed as previously reported. He is currently in custody and in stable condition.

SIEGEL: And joining me is NPR's Tom Gjelten. The general confirmed that the shooter was the man identified earlier, Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

TOM GJELTEN: You know, Robert, there's an old maxim in the military in wartime, first reports are invariably wrong. You hear that all the time and that's often used as an explanation for why military officers are so reluctant to give out information. Here we have a case where the commanding general himself came out there, as you said, and said the shooter had been killed and now had to come out and correct not only that point, but other points as well.

He says that there was a lone shooter. Earlier he said that there had been other suspects taken into custody and that possibly one or more of them had joined in the shooting. And then, thirdly...

SIEGEL: Well, he also said that they had just detained some people who had been seen running away - witnesses - you see them running after the shooting and determined they had nothing to do with it. But then he also had told us earlier, or told the world earlier, that one police officer had been shot and killed. He confirmed just now this female officer indeed was not killed.

GJELTEN: This was the third point that he had to correct himself on. He had originally said that she went down. He didn't identify her by gender. She had gone down after she had been shot and then shot him or vice versa. Now, turns out that not only did she not kill him, he didn't kill her. She is alive. She's in stable condition. But nevertheless, he did confirm the most important fact: 12 people were, in fact, killed, 31 wounded.

SIEGEL: And nearly all of them, he said, of the wounded were military personnel. Once again, the news that we bring you right now is that contrary to what Lieutenant General Bob Cone had said earlier in the day, the suspected shooter at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist originally from Northern Virginia, someone who was about to be deployed, was indeed the shooter. He indeed was shot, but he survived. He is not dead. And understandably, the general said he would answer no further questions about him because this is now a criminal investigation.

GJELTEN: This is now a criminal investigation and anything he says about Major Hasan now is likely to come up in a trial. We should not be surprised that he didn't want to speculate whatsoever about Major Hasan's possible motivation or his past.

SIEGEL: Once again, and we were going with the best information that we had for the past few hours. But the news now is according to the commander of Fort Hood, the commanding general, the shooter today at the base, at the fort, rather, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was shot by police, but indeed he is alive and in custody.

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