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Killer was VT graduate

FORT HOOD, Texas – An Army psychiatrist who is alleged to have killed 13 people and wounded another 30 at Fort Hood military base in Texas was a 1997 graduate of Virginia Tech.
According to Associated Press, Major Nidal Malik Hasan received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Tech in 1997. The suspect’s cousin told media Thursday evening that Hasan is an American citizen who was born in Arlington and attended Virginia high schools before going to Tech. He lived in Roanoke County prior to joining the ROTC program at Tech, according to reports.
Military officials were starting Friday to piece together what may have prompted Hasan to go on a shooting rampage on the base.
According to AP reports, soldiers who witnessed the shooting rampage reported that the gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire, the base commander said Friday.
Lt. Gen. Robert Cone said officials had not yet confirmed that Hasan made the comment, which is Arabic for “God is great!”
An imam from a mosque Hasan regularly attended said Hasan, a lifelong Muslim, was a committed soldier, gave no sign of extremist beliefs and regularly wore his uniform at prayers.
Hasan was in stable condition on a ventilator and still unconscious Friday. Cone said investigators hope to interrogate him as soon as possible.
In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived.
In Washington, a senior U.S. official said authorities at Fort Hood initially thought one of the victims who had been shot and killed was the shooter. The mistake resulted in a delay of several hours in identifying Hasan as the alleged assailant.
Authorities have not ruled out that Hasan was acting on behalf of some unidentified radical group, the official said. He would not say whether any evidence had come to light to support that theory.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that were under investigation.
Officials are not ruling out the possibility that some of the casualties may have been victims of “friendly fire” from military officials responding to the event.
The gunfire broke out around 1:30 p.m. at the Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening. Nearby, some soldiers were about to head into a graduation ceremony for troops and families who had recently earned degrees.
Pastor Greg Schannep had just parked his car along the side of the theater and was about to head into the ceremony when a man in uniform approached him.
“Sir, they are opening fire over there!” the man told him. At first, Schannep thought it was a training exercise‚ then he heard three volleys and saw people running. As the man who warned him about the shots ran away, he could see the man’s back was bloodied from a wound.
Schannep said police and medical and other emergency personnel were on the scene in an instant, telling people to get inside the theater. The post went into lockdown while a search began for a suspect and emergency workers began trying to treat the wounded. Some soldiers rushed to treat their injured colleagues by ripping their uniforms into makeshift bandages to treat their wounds.
Video from the scene showed police patrolling the area with handguns and rifles, ducking behind buildings for cover. Sirens could be heard wailing while a woman’s voice on a public-address system urged people to take cover. Schools on the base went into lockdown, and family members trying to find out what was happening inside found cell phone lines jammed or busy.
The identities of the dead and wounded have not yet been released released.
There will also be a ceremony at the air base to honor the dead.
The motive for the shooting wasn’t clear, but Hasan was apparently set to deploy soon, and had expressed some anger about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired Col. Terry Lee, who said he had worked with Hasan, said Hasan had hoped Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq and got into frequent arguments with others in the military who supported the wars.
For six years before reporting for duty at Fort Hood in July, the 39-year-old Army major worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing a career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and, last year, a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. 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 received a poor performance evaluation, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. And while he was an intern, Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.
At least six months ago, Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades.
Investigators had not determined for certain whether Hasan was the author of the posting, and a formal investigation had not been opened before the shooting, said law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case.
The FBI, local police and other agencies searched Hasan’s apartment Thursday night after evacuating the complex in Killeen, said city spokeswoman Hilary Shine. She referred questions about what was found to the FBI. The FBI in Dallas referred questions to a spokesman who was not immediately available early Friday morning.

— Associated Press reports were used in this story.

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Killer was VT graduate

FORT HOOD, Texas – An Army psychiatrist who is alleged to have killed 13 people and wounded another 30 at Fort Hood military base in Texas was a 1997 graduate of Virginia Tech.
According to Associated Press, Major Nidal Malik Hasan received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Tech in 1997. The suspect’s cousin told media Thursday evening that Hasan is an American citizen who was born in Arlington and attended Virginia high schools before going to Tech. He lived in Roanoke County prior to joining the ROTC program at Tech, according to reports.
Military officials were starting Friday to piece together what may have prompted Hasan to go on a shooting rampage on the base.
According to AP reports, soldiers who witnessed the shooting rampage reported that the gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire, the base commander said Friday.
Lt. Gen. Robert Cone said officials had not yet confirmed that Hasan made the comment, which is Arabic for “God is great!”
An imam from a mosque Hasan regularly attended said Hasan, a lifelong Muslim, was a committed soldier, gave no sign of extremist beliefs and regularly wore his uniform at prayers.
Hasan was in stable condition on a ventilator and still unconscious Friday. Cone said investigators hope to interrogate him as soon as possible.
In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived.
In Washington, a senior U.S. official said authorities at Fort Hood initially thought one of the victims who had been shot and killed was the shooter. The mistake resulted in a delay of several hours in identifying Hasan as the alleged assailant.
Authorities have not ruled out that Hasan was acting on behalf of some unidentified radical group, the official said. He would not say whether any evidence had come to light to support that theory.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that were under investigation.
Officials are not ruling out the possibility that some of the casualties may have been victims of “friendly fire” from military officials responding to the event.
The gunfire broke out around 1:30 p.m. at the Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening. Nearby, some soldiers were about to head into a graduation ceremony for troops and families who had recently earned degrees.
Pastor Greg Schannep had just parked his car along the side of the theater and was about to head into the ceremony when a man in uniform approached him.
“Sir, they are opening fire over there!” the man told him. At first, Schannep thought it was a training exercise‚ then he heard three volleys and saw people running. As the man who warned him about the shots ran away, he could see the man’s back was bloodied from a wound.
Schannep said police and medical and other emergency personnel were on the scene in an instant, telling people to get inside the theater. The post went into lockdown while a search began for a suspect and emergency workers began trying to treat the wounded. Some soldiers rushed to treat their injured colleagues by ripping their uniforms into makeshift bandages to treat their wounds.
Video from the scene showed police patrolling the area with handguns and rifles, ducking behind buildings for cover. Sirens could be heard wailing while a woman’s voice on a public-address system urged people to take cover. Schools on the base went into lockdown, and family members trying to find out what was happening inside found cell phone lines jammed or busy.
The identities of the dead and wounded have not yet been released released.
There will also be a ceremony at the air base to honor the dead.
The motive for the shooting wasn’t clear, but Hasan was apparently set to deploy soon, and had expressed some anger about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired Col. Terry Lee, who said he had worked with Hasan, said Hasan had hoped Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq and got into frequent arguments with others in the military who supported the wars.
For six years before reporting for duty at Fort Hood in July, the 39-year-old Army major worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing a career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and, last year, a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. 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 received a poor performance evaluation, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. And while he was an intern, Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.
At least six months ago, Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades.
Investigators had not determined for certain whether Hasan was the author of the posting, and a formal investigation had not been opened before the shooting, said law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case.
The FBI, local police and other agencies searched Hasan’s apartment Thursday night after evacuating the complex in Killeen, said city spokeswoman Hilary Shine. She referred questions about what was found to the FBI. The FBI in Dallas referred questions to a spokesman who was not immediately available early Friday morning.

— Associated Press reports were used in this story.

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