Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wire: 12 Killed, 31 Wounded at Fort Hood (Update-4)

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2009 -- Newswire services this afternoon reported that twelve people were killed and 31 wounded in two shootings Thursday at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, the Army said. At least three gunmen, all soldiers, were involved in the attack.

The suspected gunman was identified as Major Malik Nadal Hasan. He was killed and two other suspects have been apprehended, Lt. Robert W. Cone said.

The gunman used two handguns, Cone said. He wasn't sure if the shooter reloaded the weapons during the attack.

The general called the attack "a terrible tragedy, stunning." He said the community was "absolutely devastated."

The extent of the injuries of victims "varies significantly," according to Cone.

The Associated Press reported that the first shooting began at about 1:30 p.m. at a personnel and medical processing office, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said. The facility, called a Soldier Rating and Processing center, handles administrative details for soldiers.

An Army spokesman said the base was locked down after the shootings.

Covering 339 square miles, Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the United States. Home to about 52,000 troops as of earlier this year, the sprawling base is located halfway between Austin and Waco.

At the Soldier Readiness Center, soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening -- on average about 300-400 screened a day, Lampam said.

Lampam said a graduation ceremony for soldiers who finished college courses while deployed was going on in the auditorium at the time of the shooting.

Fort Hood officially opened on Sept. 18, 1942, and was named in honor of Gen. John Bell Hood. It has been continuously used for armored training and is charged with maintaining readiness for combat missions.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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