* Suspected gunman was psychiatrist, had treated wounded
* Psychiatrist was shot four times but stable
* Soldiers were shot at pre-deployment center
(Adds details from Army officials, color)
By Erwin Seba
KILLEEN, Texas, Nov 6 Investigators searched
for the motive on Friday behind a mass shooting at a sprawling
U.S. Army base in Texas, in which an Army psychiatrist trained
to treat war wounded is suspected of killing 13 people.
The suspected gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim
born in the United States of immigrant parents, was shot four
times by police, a base spokesman said. He was unconscious but
in stable condition.
A woman died overnight from her wounds, raising the toll
from Thursday's shootings to 13 dead and 30 wounded, said
Colonel John Rossi, a spokesman at Fort Hood, the biggest
military facility in the world.
Hasan was on a ventilator in a civilian hospital, Rossi
The Army refused to discuss possible motives while the
investigation was under way. "We have to understand what caused
the suspect to act in the way that he did," Army Secretary John
McHugh said after observing a moment of silence at the base.
"This was a kick in the gut," said Army Chief of Staff
The gunman, with two guns including a semi-automatic
weapon, opened fire apparently without warning at the crowded
Soldiers Readiness Processing Center, where troops were getting
medical checkups before leaving for foreign deployments.
Hasan, 39, had spent years counseling severely wounded
soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington,
many of whom had lost limbs fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was transferred to Fort Hood in April and was to have
been deployed to Afghanistan, where the U.S. military is
engaged in an increasingly bloody war against Taliban and al
The Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI are
investigating the shootings and no charges have been brought
against Hasan, McHugh said.
In Washington, President Barack Obama warned met with with
FBI officials, including agency director Robert Mueller, to
discuss the incident.
"We don't know all the answers yet and I would caution
against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts,"
Hasan's cousin, Nader Hasan, said in interviews that he had
agitated not to be sent overseas. "We've known over the last
five years that was probably his worst nightmare," he said.
Nader Hasan also said his cousin had complained, as a
Muslim, of harassment by fellow soldiers.
Hasan yelled "Allah akbar" -- Arabic for "God is great" --
just before the shooting, Chuck Medley, Fort Hood's director of
Emergency Services, told Reuters.
But the Fort Hood commander, Lieutenant-General Robert
Cone, said there was no evidence this was a terrorist attack.
American Muslim groups expressed regret and stressed that
the incident appeared to have been carried out by a single
"Thousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims serve
honorably every day in all four branches of the U.S. military
and in the National Guard," the Arab American Institute said.
Rossi said Thursday's shooting lasted 10 minutes. He said a
female civilian police officer was the first to wound the
gunman, who was wearing military garb.
Sergeant Andrew Hagerman, a military police officer, said
Hasan was unconscious when he arrived.
"You're always surprised at how much carnage there is,"
said Hagerman, who returned in July 2008 from a tour of duty in
Iraq. Soldiers ripped apart their uniforms to make bandages to
care for the wounded, Hagerman said.
The United States has been engaged in six years of fighting
in Iraq and nearly eight years of war in Afghanistan, which has
put extra stress on the military and on individual soldiers.
In May, a U.S. soldier at a base in Baghdad shot and killed
five fellow soldiers.
Multiple shooting incidents are not uncommon in the United
States, where there are relatively lax gun controls.
Fort Hood personnel have accounted for more suicides than
any other Army post since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003,
with 75 tallied through July of this year.
Fort Hood, about 60 miles (97 km) from the state capital
Austin, is home to about 50,000 troops.
(Writing by Chris Baltimore, editing by David Storey and Doina