President Obama offers condolences in Fort Hood shooting by Army major

President Barack Obama offered his condolences Thursday after a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that left at least 12 dead and 31 wounded.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas,” a solemn Obama said. “It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.

“We will make sure we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident,” Obama said.

At press time, details continued to pour in about what Obama called “a horrific outburst of violence.”

The shooter was identified as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, who had recently transferred to Fort Hood from Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. He was shot and killed by security personnel at the base.

Two others were in custody.

The president was informed of the shooting while at the White House earlier Thursday afternoon. He said he had spoken with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

The president promised “the full resources of the federal government” to the base and surrounding areas. He said the FBI, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security are working to make sure the base is safe and to find answers as to what happened.

Rep. John Carter (R), whose district includes Fort Hood, said the gunfire had erupted ahead of a graduation ceremony in the soldier readiness center.

“I had a man on the scene, who is my regional director and former chaplain at Fort Hood, waiting to go to a graduation ceremony when a soldier came running up to him saying, “Sir, don’t go over there. They are — somebody is shooting over there,’ ” Carter said on MSNBC, in remarks carried by Agence France-Presse.

“When the soldier ran by him, he saw the soldier didn’t know it, but he was wounded. So, he went into the building and they stopped him, because he had been shot.

“He heard small arms and some rifle fire while he was there and that he thought they had one person that they had caught but there may be more, he didn’t know. He understood there was more than one, that was all he said.”

The House took a break from business early Thursday evening to observe a moment of silence for the victims.

This story was updated at 7:35 p.m.