Click to viewAn Army soldier killed twelve people and wounded 31 at the Ft. Hood Army post in Killeen, Texas. The shooter has been killed, but two suspected conspirators, also soldiers, are in custody.
We're getting some clarity: At a press conference minutes ago, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone told reporters that a soldier entered the post's soldier readiness facility, where servicemembers preparing to deploy go for last-minute medical check-ups and the like, at approximately 1:30 p.m. and opened fire with two handguns, killing twelve and wounding 31. The assailant was killed. According to eyewitness accounts, Lt. Gen. Cone said, two other soldiers were also involved in the shooting. Both men have been located and detained as suspects.
"The situation is ongoing, although I think we have positive news that we're very close to a resolution," he said.
UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that Hasan was an "Army mental health professional," as is the Associated Press: "A defense official speaking on condition of anonymity says Hasan was a mental health professional—an Army psychologist or psychiatrist. It was not known whether he was treating people at the base."
And Texas Rep. John Carter, who represents the district in which Ft. Hood is located, also told the network that he's been told by sources at Ft. Hood that the two suspects have been released, but that authorities are looking for yet another suspected conspirator who's still at large.
UPDATE: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison just said on Fox, citing officers she's been speaking to, that the shooter "was going to deploy to Iraq, and I think there was some measure of being concerned or upset about that." She said "it's not totally clear" that the two other suspects "were a part of this plot."
UPDATE: ABC News has identified the shooter as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan. If it's true that he had two other soldiers assisting him, we can't help but think of a recent rash of killings in Afghanistan involving Taliban fighters infiltrating Afghan police units and killing U.S. and British soldiers. On the other hand, the FBI is saying there's "no terrorism nexus."
UPDATE: Here's Obama's statement on the shootings: "It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."
UPDATE: "The individuals involved were all U.S. soldiers," according to an Army spokesman giving a news conference right now. The primary shooter was armed with two handguns.
UPDATE: CNN is now reporting that twelve victims have been killed, and that one of the shooters has died as well. Unclear whether the gunman is included in that figure of twelve fatalities. Barack Obama is expected to publicly address the shootings shortly.
Twenty people were wounded, though that number is likely to increase. It's unclear whether the victims were soldiers or not. Fox News has confirmed that one suspect is still at large, and is speculating based on unconfirmed reports that a third is on the loose as well. Which would seem to indicate a coordinated operation.
UPDATE: KWTX-TV in Waco is reporting that the death toll may have risen from seven to nine. CNN also says that "as many as nine" have been killed.
UPDATE: The Killeen Daily Herald is reporting, on Twitter as well as in a reporter interview on Fox, that the suspect in custody is a 40-year-old male. Fox News, citing FBI sources, says "authorities believe there is no terrorism nexus" in the attack. "It's not being discussed."
UPDATE: Here's Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on MSNBC, saying that one shooter attacked a processing center where soldiers were being prepared to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that 30 people were wounded.
UPDATE: A local news station is reporting that one of the shooters, an Army major, has been wounded but is still at large.
From KCEN-TV in Waco, Texas:
Police surrounded the 42006 building, said to be used for traumatic brain injuries, on Fort Hood and fired shots at a male suspect in an Army uniform with a Major rank. The suspect was injured, but has now run in to another building.
Reports say the shooter had a high-powered rifle and was aiming to kill.
Fox is reporting that the shooters attacked three separate locations on the post at the same time. According to the Austin-American Statesman, the shooting started at 1:30 p.m.—one gunman was at a "personnel and medical processing center" and another shooter was at a theater. The way this is shaping up, it certainly looks like a deliberate, coordinated attack. Though we can certainly imagine a lot of confusion in the aftermath of an event like this as to who was a shooter and who was just a soldier shooting back. And if one shooter got away after the initial incident and started firing from another location, it could have led to the misapprehension that there were three attackers when there were in fact two. There was a graduation ceremony of some sort taking place on the post, according to Fox, which drew a lot of civilians there today.
The Ft. Hood web site currently bears the message "LOCKDOWN: Ft. Hood is closed...." The site's down, but here's a screengrab:
A Ft. Hood soldier was killed in Afghanistan last month by an improvised bomb. And Killeen was the site of a massacre at Luby's cafeteria in 1991, when a gunman drove his truck into a restaurant and fatally shot 23 people before committing suicide.