More details are emerging about the man authorities claim is behind the shooting rampage at an American military base in Texas that killed 12 soldiers and one civilian and injured 30 others.
Authorities claim the Virginia-born 39-year-old army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire around 1:30pm Thursday at a military processing centre at Fort Hood. He was shot four times before being taken into custody and is listed in stable condition in hospital.
The horrific incident has been called the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base.
Investigators are still trying to pin down a motive for the attack, but Hasan’s family members indicated he’d been harassed and also feared his impending deployment to Iraq.
Hasan’s aunt, Noel Hasan, has said he’d been repeatedly harassed about being a Muslim following the 9/11 attacks and had sought discharge from the military. The alleged shooter’s cousin, Nader Hasan, said after counselling soldiers affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, he was fearful of being sent to Iraq. He reportedly told a colleague he hoped U.S. President Barack Obama would pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal authorities searched Hasan’s apartment in Killeen, Texas early Friday and evacuated the entire building.
The morning of the shooting, Hasan stopped at a 7-Eleven for his usual morning coffee and hash browns. Surveillance video from the store shows him wearing traditional Arab garb about seven hours before the gunfire erupted.
The seemingly-dedicated military man served as an enlisted soldier for eight years.