Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the man who killed 12 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 31 others, is still alive and in stable condition after earlier reports that he was killed during Thursday afternoon’s violence. Shortly after lunch Hasan, 39, an Army psychiatrist (M.D., M.P.H.), entered a “very enclosed” room where other soldiers were receiving medical attention before deployment and opened fire with two guns, one semiautomatic, that were not issued by the Army. Within three minutes of the initial gunfire, police were on the scene. Civilian cop Kimberly Munley, even after she was hit by a bullet, shot and injured Hasan, stopping the rampage. It was reported this morning that one eyewitness claims the Hasan was yelling “Allahu Akhbar,”, or “God is great” in Arabic. As soon as the shooter was neutralized, soldiers on the scene began tearing their clothing to make tourniquets for the wounded while others rushed to protect an auditorium on the base where graduation ceremonies were being held for soldiers who missed out because of deployment. It was not initially clear if Hasan was acting alone, and three soldiers were mistakenly taken into custody.
Raised by parents from Jordan, Hasan was single and held no religious preference, according to Army records, but a former imam at a Washington D.C.-area mosque said that he was a lifelong Muslim and attended prayer services regularly until he was moved to Texas in July. Hasan was working as a counselor for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington before he was transferred to Fort Hood to prepare for his own deployment to Afghanistan later this month. According to at least one colleague, Hasan was vocally opposed to American engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and had even tried to prevent his own deployment. Federal law enforcement identified Hasan as a potential threat as many as six months ago after he posted on the Internet about suicide bombings, but officials are not labeling this attack as terrorism. No information about his presumed threat level or how authorities were tracking him has been released.
For now, Hasan is in stable condition, but not speaking to authorities.