KILLEEN, Texas (Reuters) – The death toll from an Army psychiatrist who opened fire at the Fort Hood Army post rose to 13 on Friday, and Army officials said the suspected shooter was hospitalized and on a ventilator.
Suspected gunman Major Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army post on Thursday, in one of the worst killing sprees ever reported on a U.S. military base, army officials said.
A woman died overnight from gunshot wounds, raising the toll to 13 dead and 30 wounded, said Colonel John Rossi, a deputy commanding general at Fort Hood, speaking with reporters. Of those killed, one was a civilian and 12 were soldiers, Rossi said.
Hasan was shot 4 times during the incident and was unconscious but in stable condition and on a ventilator, Rossi said.
“He’s stable and in one of our civilian hospitals,” Rossi said. “He’s on a ventilator.”
The Army said the gunman opened fire at about 1:30 p.m. CST (1930 GMT) on Thursday at the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center, a group of buildings where soldiers were getting medical check-ups before leaving for overseas deployments.
The gunman had two weapons, one of them a semi-automatic, and neither was a military-issued weapon, Army officials said.
In May, a U.S. soldier at a base in Baghdad shot and killed five fellow soldiers.
A cousin of the suspected shooter, Nader Hasan, told Fox News on Thursday that he had been ordered to serve a term in Iraq and had been resisting such a deployment.
Hasan said his cousin was a U.S.-born Muslim who had joined the military from high school. He had served as a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which treats many badly wounded troops.
The incident raised new questions about the toll that six years of continuous fighting in Iraq and nearly eight years of fighting in Afghanistan have taken on the U.S. military and on individual soldiers, many of whom have been on several combat tours.
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking in Washington on Thursday, called the event a “horrific outburst of violence.”
Fort Hood is home to about 50,000 troops, although Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said only about 35,000 were on base at the time. The fort, established in 1942, stretches across 339 square miles (878 square km) in central Texas and is the state’s largest single employer.
Base 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. Nine of those occurred in 2009, counting two in overseas war zones.
Fort Hood is halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles from each city. Nearby Killeen was the site of one of the worst U.S. shooting rampages when a gunman drove his truck into a Luby’s cafeteria in 1991 and shot 23 people to death and wounded 20 others before killing himself.