Sources Identify Major as Gunman in Deadly Shooting Rampage at Fort Hood
A military doctor who feared an impending war deployment is believed to be the gunman behind a shooting rampage Thursday afternoon at the Army's Fort Hood in Texas that killed 11 and wounded 31 before the gunman was fatally shot.
Two soldiers were taken into custoy as possible suspects, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone told reporters Thursday evening, though the pair later were released and it isn't clear whether they they were involved in the violence.
Authorities have not identified the gunman publicly, but official sources have named Major Malik Nadal Hasan, a psychiatrist who reportedly didn't believe in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wanted out of the military before he was set to be deployed overseas.
Federal law enforcement officials say Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.
The officials say they are still trying to confirm that he was the author.
One of the Web postings that authorities reviewed is a blog that equates homicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades.
"To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause," said the Internet posting. "Scholars have paralled (sic) this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers."
They say an official investigation was not opened.
Hasan was working with soldiers at Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood after being transfered in July from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had worked for six years before recently receiving a poor review.
A former neighbor of Hasan's in Silver Spring, Md. told Fox News he lived there for two years with his brother and had the word "Allah" on the door.
She said the FBI interviewed her this afternoon, adding she used to see a woman and a 3-year-old girl coming and going.
Cone said witnesses thought they saw multiple shooters, but that couldn't be confirmed. The primary shooter used two handguns, he said.
The shooting took place 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the post's Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers undergo medical screening before being deployed or after returning from overseas.
"We have a terrible, tragic situation here," said Cone. "Soldiers, family members and the civilians that work here are absolutely devastated."
Cone said the injuries "vary significantly" among the victims wounded in the shooting. The victims include one civilian police officer.
The shooter's cousin, Nader Hasan, told Fox News that their family is in shock.
"We are trying to make sense of all this," Nader Hasan said. "He wasn't even someone who enjoyed going to the firing range."
He said his cousin, who was born and raised in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech University, turned against the wars after hearing the stories of those who came back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Nader Hasan said his cousin, who was raised a Muslim, wanted to go into the military against his parent's wishes — but was taunted by others after the terror attacks of Sept. 11.
He now is believed to have been behind the worst mass shooting at a U.S. military base in history.
George Stratton's son, George Stratton III, was five feet away from the shooter at the Soldier Readiness Center and suffered a gunshot wound to his left shoulder.
"He said he was there doing medical stuff and all of a sudden someone came through the door, walked behind the desk and just started shooting," Stratton told FoxNews.com.
He said about 15 rounds went off and people started dropping to the floor.
"He peaked up over the desk and that's when he was shot in the shoulder, and he just went down again. He said he saw one of his NCOs get badly shot," Stratton told FoxNews.com after talking to his son in the hospital. "After he got shot he told me, 'Dad, I got up, held my arm and took off running.'"
Stratton said his son was expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in January after going to basic training exactly a year ago.
"It's pretty hard to believe something like this happened," Stratton told FoxNews.com. "I think he's probably had his fill of war already."
President Obama called the shooting a "horrific outburst of violence" on members of the nation's armed forces. "It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on American soil," he said
Obama said his thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and families of the fallen.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said the shooting was a terrible tragedy for all of the military families affected.
A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said they don't know anything about Hasan, and condemned the shooting at Fort Hood.
The group issued a statement calling the shooting as a "cowardly attack." They say no political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such violence.
The base and area schools were on lockdown after the mass shooting, and all those on the Army post were asked to gather for a head count, thought the lockdown was lifted Thursday night.
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.
FoxNews.com's Michelle Maskaly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.