13 Dead in Attacks at Fort Hood in Texas - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

13 Dead in Attacks at Fort Hood in Texas

NewsWest9 on Fort Hood

FORT HOOD - NewsWest9 traveled to Fort Hood Friday to see how military personnel and the community of Killeen was handling the horrible tragedy that unfolded the day before.

NewsWest9's Sarah Snyder and photojournalist Stefen Stone spoke with soldiers and first responders who were on post Thursday afternoon when 39-year-old Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on his fellow men and women.

The soldiers recounted the terror of that moment and how they jumped into action to help save others. Others spoke about how the shootings were affecting the very close Military community that makes up not only Fort Hood, but Killeen and the surrouding towns in Bell and Coryell Counties.

The Red Cross in Killeen has been packed with people from all over Central Texas who are donating blood for the almost 40 shooting victims that remain at area hospitals. Many have traveled from Waco, Temple and the Austin areas.

Sarah Snyder even spoke with a former soldier who went to the Red Cross because he says he had to do something to help. The Red Cross says they have not had this type of outpouring of support since September 11, 2001.

Continuing Coverage

FORT HOOD, TEXAS - New information has been released after a deadly shooting in Fort Hood, Texas on Thursday afternoon.

NewsWest 9 has received word that another injured victim from the Fort Hood shooting has died overnight bringing the death toll to 13.
    
On Thursday, a military mental health doctor facing deployment overseas opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas, he was later shot and wounded.
    
More than 30 other soldiers were wounded, some of them seriously.
    
Officials say the shots were fired at the base's Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening.

The suspect in the shooting has been identified as 39-year old Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

He is currently in custody in stable condition at the hospital.
    
Officials are still investigating a motive, but say Malik was scheduled to be deployed himself at the end of November and had made some disparaging remarks about that assignment.

The Army says that all of the remaining shooting victims are alive and in stable condition - about half of the wounded soldiers required surgery.

 

Moment of Silence

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has declared a moment of silence for U.S. military forces worldwide as a show of respect for the Fort Hood victims.

The moment of silence is planned for 2:34 p.m. EST Friday - exactly 24 hours after the shooting in Texas. All U.S. forces worldwide are being asked to participate in the show of respect.

To honor those who lost their lives, Governor Rick Perry has ordered all flags in Texas to be flown at half staff until Sunday.

 

Family of Shooter Speaks Out

WASHINGTON (AP) - The family of the suspected Fort Hood shooter says "the actions of their cousin are despicable and deplorable."

Kim Fuller, a spokeswoman for Nidal Malik Hasan's family says relatives in Northern Virginia are reaching out to law enforcement Friday to offer insight. Authorities have said Hasan is suspected in Thursday's mass killings at Fort Hood military base in Texas.

Hasan's family said in a statement Friday that his actions don't reflect how they were raised in the U.S. Military officials are still trying to piece together what may have pushed the 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, trained to help soldiers in distress, to turn on his comrades.

 

Family Hotline

The Army has set up an information hotline for family of Fort Hood personnel. The number is: 866-836-2751.

 

The Victims

The 13 people killed when an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, included a man who quit a furniture company job to join the military about a year ago, a newlywed who had served in Iraq and a woman who had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Here is a look at some of the victims.

Pfc. Michael Pearson

The 21-year-old soldier from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, Ill., quit what he figured was a dead-end furniture company job to join the military about a year ago.

His mother, Sheryll Pearson, tells the Chicago Tribune that her son "felt he was in a rut. He wanted to travel, see the world. He also wanted an opportunity to serve the country."

At Pearson's family home today, a yellow ribbon was tied to a porch light and a sticker stamped with American flags on the front door read, "United we stand."

Neighbor Jessica Koerber was with Pearson's parents when they received word Thursday their son had died. She described him as a man who clearly loved his family - someone who enjoyed horsing around with his nieces and nephews, and other times playing his guitar.

In Koerber's words, "That family lost their gem. He was a great kid, a great guy. ... Mikey was 1 of a kind."

Sheryll Pearson said she hadn't seen her son for a year because he had been training. She told the Tribune that when she last talked to him on the phone two days ago, they had discussed how he would come home for Christmas.

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt

The 22-year-old soldier from Frederick, Okla., went into the military after graduating from Tipton High School in 2005. His mother, Gale Hunt says he'd gotten married just two months ago. He served 3 1/2 years in the Army, including a stint in Iraq.

Gale Hunt says two uniformed soldiers came to her door late last night to notify her of her son's death.

Kathy Gray is an administrative assistant at the Tipton Schools. She says the soldier was known as J.D. and was "just kind of a quiet boy and a good kid, very kind."

Hunt's mother said he was family oriented. In her words, "He didn't go in for hunting or sports. He was a very quiet boy who enjoyed video games."

He'd re-enlisted for six years after serving his initial 2-year assignment, she said. Jason Hunt was previously stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Sgt. Amy Krueger

The 29-year-old soldier from Kiel, Wis., joined the Army after the 2001 terrorist attacks and had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden.

Her mother, Jeri Krueger, says Amy Krueger had arrived at Fort Hood on Tuesday. She tells the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc, Wis., that her daughter was scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan in December.

Jeri Krueger recalls telling her daughter that she could not take on bin Laden by herself. The mother recalls her daughter's response: "Watch me."

Kiel High School Principal Dario Talerico told The Associated Press that Krueger graduated from the school in 1998 and had spoken at least once to local elementary school students about her career.

Talerico says he remembers Amy Krueger as "a very good kid, who like most kids in a small town are just looking for what their next step in life was going to be and she chose the military. Once she got into the military, she really connected with that kind of lifestyle and was really proud to serve her country."

Hundreds Gather for Vigil

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - Several hundred people gathered at a base stadium where the Army's chief chaplain offered prayers for families and victims of the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 30 wounded at Fort Hood, Texas.

Chaplain Douglas Carver told those a the Friday night vigil -- many dressed in fatigues and black berets -- to "remember to keep breathing ... keep going."

God Bless America and Amazing Grace were sung as husbands wrapped their arms around their wives, babies cried and old men in wheelchairs bowed their heads.

It was the first community gathering since the killings.
 

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