A shooting at the Ft. Hood Army Base in Texas earlier this afternoon has claimed the lives of 12 people and wounded at least 31 others. The suspected gunman — Major Nidal Malik Hasan —
was shot to death is alive and in stable condition, while “two other soldiers were in custody.” President Obama called the Fort Hood shootings a “horrific outburst of violence.” “It is difficult enough to lose” soldiers overseas, he said, but it is “horrifying that they should lose their lives at an Army base in the U.S.” (Watch his remarks here.)
On Fox News, Shep Smith reported that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and others told him that the officer was “very upset” about a “pending deployment to the war zones in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.” A Hutchison spokesman tells a Texas newspaper the same thing.
,Politico reports, “Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison told Fox News she had learned the dead shooter was scheduled for deployment to Iraq, and ‘I think that there was some measure of being upset about that.'”
ABC News’ Brian Ross described Major Malik Nidal Hassan as a convert to Islam. Contrary to prior reports, Hasan has “always been Muslim” and is not a recent convert. In a statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possible and ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law. No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer army that protects our nation. American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured.