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12 dead in US army base shooting -

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12 dead in US army base shooting

John Shovelan reported this story on Friday, November 6, 2009 12:10:00

SHANE MCLEOD: At least 12 people are dead and more than 30 injured after a mass shooting at a
military base in the United States.

The alleged gunman is among the dead and US media outlets are reporting he's a serving member of
the military - an army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Hasan.

He was said to be armed with two handguns when he went on the rampage, targeting soldiers
undergoing pre-deployment checks at Fort Hood - the largest military base in the world.

John Shovelan reports from Washington.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Dozens and dozens of troops from all round the country were filling in forms at the
soldier readiness centre, a sprawling group of buildings at Fort Hood, about to be deployed to the
war in Iraq when the war came to them.

(Sound of sirens)

An Army psychiatrist, Major Dr Malik Nidal Hasan, opened fire with two handguns in the busy
processing centre where troops were having their medical check-ups before deployment.

Dr Hasan himself was going to be deployed to Iraq on November the 28th and according to his cousin
Nader Hasan he desperately didn't want to go.

NADER HASAN: We've known for the last five years that was probably his worst nightmare. He deals
with stories. He would tell us how he would hear things, horrific things. Being afraid of wanting
to go to war, that's it. He has always wanted to just get away from the war and the environment
that the, you know, being a psychiatrist and being a doctor.

Remember this is an intelligent, educated, has family and is making six, a very good income. And so
it wasn't, you know this is, we're blown away as a family. And I just you know, I've got to be
honest with you, I just want to make sure that you know, people who are watching and listening, the
guy was born and raised here.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Dr Hasan worked on the base at the Darnall medical centre after being transferred
from the Walter Reed medical centre and had spent years dealing with troops suffering post
traumatic stress after returning from war zones.

Seventy-five soldiers are reported to have committed suicide at Fort Hood alone in the last six
years, which is home to about 50,000 US troops, the largest US military base in the world.

Dr Hasan, his cousin says, was born and bred in America and had been a Muslim all his life, long
before he had joined the US military.

NADER HASAN: He is a good American and we are shocked.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Lieutenant General Bob Cone, the base commander said the shooting occurred as
hundreds of troops were being processed.

The news came as such a shock that the President who was scheduled to give an address to a
gathering of Native Americans, instead cancelled the speech to express his horror.

BARACK OBAMA: It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is
horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.

My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and
with those who live and serve at Fort Hood.

JOHN SHOVELAN: A Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said Hasan had been extremely angry at being
sent to Iraq and that during the massacre Hasan had been shooting at people he knew.

John Shovelan, Washington.