Shooting at Fort Hood: Live updates
By Garance Franke-Ruta
5:27 p.m. Members of Hasan's mosque speak about Fort Hood shooting
Members and leaders of the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, where Maj. Nidal M. Hasan used to pray, speak out the day after the tragedy. They describe him as a devout Muslim, quiet but friendly. (Anna Uhls / The Washington Post)
4:17 p.m. Friday night lights
There will be a large candlelight prayer vigil for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting Friday night at Fort Hood Stadium at 6 p.m. (CST). It will be led by Army chaplains, according to reports.
3:21 p.m. President issues proclamation "Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas."
The White House released a proclamation on the tragedy at Fort Hood formally ordering flags flown at half-staff "at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, Tuesday, November 10, 2009."
"Our Nation's thoughts and prayers are with the service members, civilians, and families affected by the tragic events at Fort Hood, Texas. The brave victims, who risked their lives
to protect their fellow countrymen, serve as a constant source of strength and inspiration to all Americans. We ask God to watch over the fallen, the wounded, and all those who are
suffering at this difficult hour," the president said in the proclamation.
The order came as the president was scheduled to be visiting the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District.
3:01 p.m. Army Secretary: "The Army family is strong."
Declaring, "this is a time for the Army family to stand together. This is a time for Army strong to mean what it says," Army Secretary John M. McHugh sought to reassure his forces Friday afternoon during a news conference in Fort Hood, Tex.
Standing at his side was Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, who said, "I'll tell you candidly, this was a kick in the gut."
"Unfortunately over the past eight years, our Army has been no stranger to tragedy," Gen. Casey told reporters, "but we are an Army that draws strength from adversity." The stories of courage and heroism in response to the shooting at Fort Hood made him proud, he said.
"This is going to take a while," he warned of the investigation, but said that "the full resources of the Army and the Department of Defense are behind the men and women of the Fort Hood community."
"We take care of our own. We will grieve as a family and we will maintain our focus on our missions around the world," Gen. Casey said.
Gen. Casey also said he did not believe the shooting would have any operational impacts and, in response to a question, that the size of the force was an issue in the shooting. The Army is 70,000 soldiers larger than it was five years ago, he noted.
2:36 p.m. A moment of silence
The U.S. military mourned the victims at Fort Hood with a moment of silence lasting several minutes.
2:29 p.m. Hasan gave belongings to neighbor Tuesday night
Chris Vaugh of the McClatchy Newspapers provides some further details about Maj. Hasan's gifts to his neighbors the night before allegedly going on a shooting rampage at the Army post at Fort Hood:
On Tuesday night, he knocked on his next door neighbor's apartment, a woman who identified herself only as Patricia, and gave her a Spanish version of the Quran.
"I told him, I'm Hispanic but I don't read Spanish," she said.
When he came back Wednesday morning to give her one in English, he noticed her rather bare apartment.
He gave her three bags of vegetables from his refrigerator, a set of bookshelves and two sitting chairs.
"He said he was going to give them to the Salvation Army when he saw that I needed them," she said. "He seemed so kind."
"'I said, where are you leaving to?' He said, 'I'm leaving to Afghanistan'" Patricia said she could not believe this was the same man who is accused of killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 29 at Fort Hood Thursday afternoon.
Hasan, who was shot by police during his rampage, remained hospitalized.
"It shocked me because he was so nice to me," she said.
2:10 p.m. Law enforcement investigation into online posts ongoing
A federal source speaking on condition of anonymity because of the unfolding nature of the investigation confirmed that authorities seized the alleged perpetrator's computer and are performing routine tests on it. They continue to investigate whether the shooter was the author of the disturbed Internet posting described by the AP last night, as one of the many facets of the unfolding investigation.
The alleged Texas shooter was not the subject or target of a preexisting law enforcement investigation but he had come onto the radar in part because of the web postings, the source added.
On scene at the site in Texas are the FBI's evidence response team, its shooting reconstruction team, and agents from San Antonio, Austin and Waco with more on the way. The bureau's Washington field office has been interviewing colleagues, neighbors and other contacts of the alleged shooter in the D.C. area. The Post's Derek Kravitz also reports that FBI agents were at Virginia Tech, the suspect's alma mater.
Authorities are far from settling on a motive and suggest it could be a long haul as they must track down all of the witnesses to the shooting and confront possible challenges related to doctor-patient confidentiality and privacy rights and other issues with a live, rather than a dead, alleged perpetrator. It will be a "methodical" investigation, the source added.
--Carrie A. Johnson
1:28 p.m. Hasan was to deploy with behavioral health unit
The Army has confirmed that Maj. Nidal Hasan was on active duty and preparing to
deploy to Afghanistan as an individual augmentee. Hasan was "deploying to
provide behavioral health assistance with a combat stress reserve unit," said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Lee Packnett.
--Ann Scott Tyson
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