US Soldier Guns down 12, Injures 30 at Army Base

Twelve people were killed and 30 injured when a US soldier opened fire on a military centre at Fort Hooda in Texas, officials at the Army base said.

Besides, the gunman was shot at by emergency personnel but is reported to be stable though wounded.

Col Benton Danner said that the shoot-out occurred at 1330 hrs (local time) CT.

Chief of public affairs at Fort Hood Christopher Haug said that two other soldiers who were detained have been released, but another person of interest is in custody.

A news channel quoted a law enforcement source as saying that the gunman, killed by emergency personnel, was identified as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39.

According to professional records, Hasan was a psychiatrist who previously worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center but more recently was practicing at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.

Hasan, a federal official said, was a US citizen of Jordanian descent, thought he was not sure whether he was born in the United States.

Hasan was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq “and appeared to be upset about that,” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said.

“I think that there is a lot of investigation going on now into his background and what he was doing that was not known before,” Hutchison said.

At least 10 of the other dead also were soldiers, while one was a civilian police officer who was working as a contractor on the base, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said.

More than one shooter may have been involved, officials said. Haug said gunman who was killed was “the only one that we know for sure opened fire.”

The primary shooter had two weapons, both handguns, Cone said.

Hutchison said that she was told that the soldiers at the readiness facility “were filling out paper processing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan,” said reports.

The readiness center is one of the last stops before soldiers deploy. It is also one of the first places a soldier goes upon returning to the United States.

The Army has asked the FBI to look into the background of the suspects, Cone said.

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