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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Suspected Fort Hood Shooter Alive; Determining the Shooter's Motives
Aired November 5, 2009 - 23:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much. Good evening. We're going to continue the breaking news coverage. Just to recap, 12 are dead, 31 wounded at Fort Hood, Texas. An army psychiatrist is suspected of carrying out the rampage that has left the community, indeed an entire country, in shock.
Let's begin our coverage this hour with CNN's Brian Todd. He's over at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Brian, set the stage for us. What do we know about the suspect?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, getting information from the service record of Major Nidal Hasan from Defense Department officials. Also getting some personal information from former neighbors who knew him, other incremental information that we've been compiling throughout the night.
Here's what we can tell you at this hour. Major Nidal Hasan spent about six years at the facility right behind me, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, doing an internship, residency and fellowship in psychiatry.
There's one report in the Associated Press, a doctor who served with him here, saying that he required counseling at one point because of difficulties he was having. Those difficulties having to do with his interactions with the patients. That is a report in the Associated Press. We are digging on that at this hour.
We have the information as I mention on his service record going back to when he graduated from Virginia Tech University with a degree in biochemistry, 1997. He then got all of his military and medical training at the Uniform Services University of Health Science, also called USUHS in Bethesda, Maryland, not far from where I'm standing here.
He got his training that, as I mentioned, that internship, residency and fellowship here at Walter Reed for six years from June of 2003 until July of this year, when he was transferred to Darnell Medical Center in Texas.
On the personal information, CNN this evening spoke to a former neighbor of Major Hasan's, a lady who shared a hallway at an apartment building with him in Silver Spring, Maryland, just down the hall from him.
She said that -- excuse me, Major Hasan lived in an apartment with another gentleman who she assumed was his brother. That can't be confirmed at this hour, however. She called him and this other gentleman, very pleasant men. Religious in their bearing but not overbearing about that. Said she was shocked by this incident, Wolf.
So, you know, incremental information that we are putting together about his background, his medical background, army background and a little bit on the personal side as well.
BLITZER: Well, we know, Brian, that he was born in the United States, in Virginia. His parents are...
BLITZER: ... are reported to be -- have been both of his parents are dead. Immigrants who were from Palestine. They moved to Virginia. He was born in Virginia. Wound up going to Virginia Tech and then he went to medical school, at the U.S. military medical school in Bethesda, Maryland. That we know, right?
TODD: That is correct. And everything that we're piecing together from media reports and the information that we're getting on our own at CNN, all of that does fit together, piecing it together.
Also reports that he had become a little bit disillusioned in the military because of what he perceived as anti-Muslim harassment after 9/11. And there are also reports that he, at certain points, attempted to try to get out of his army contract. We're digging on some of that as well, to get some details of that, the nature of that.
We did speak -- CNN spoke to Kay Bailey Hutchison, the senator from Texas, earlier this evening who said that he had found out that he was going to be deployed to Iraq and was upset about that. Not sure if his rotation down to Fort Hood was in line with the deployment to Iraq. Again, information we'll be digging on throughout the evening and tomorrow.
BLITZER: And has anyone over at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the hospital where you are, the U.S. army hospital here in Washington, D.C. -- have they had any official comment to you about his years that he served there?
TODD: No, not yet. We got here this evening, several hours after the shooting and made several calls here to officials at Walter Reed. They're not returning calls at the moment. They seem to be channeling a lot, as many others are, to the Department of Defense right now and the Pentagon where we're getting some information on the service record.
But again, we hope within the coming hours we're going to get more comment out of officials here at Walter Reed.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, Brian. I want to go to Fort Hood, Texas right now. CNN's Ed Lavandera is on the scene for us.
Ed, walk us through what we know, what happened around 1:30 p.m. Central Time, 2:30 p.m. Eastern, when the gunman opened fire at Fort Hood. Walk us through what we know.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we do know is that -- I think we should describe a little bit of the area where this happened. We had talked about how this took place in the soldier readiness building on post here at Fort Hood.
And the way this area has been described to us is that it was a confined area, a place, a room where soldiers would come and we talked a lot about how this is essentially the last place many of these soldiers would see here at Fort Hood on their way to being deployed into Afghanistan or Iraq, wherever they may be going.
So this would be a place where most soldiers would come for their last minute medical checkups, medical checkups, dental checkups, that sort of thing. And that is where we're told that Nidal Hasan had walked in there about 1:30 carrying two guns.
And the latest information we have is that perhaps one of those weapons was a semiautomatic weapon, which would account for the vast number of injuries and the ability of this gunman to fire off so many shots in such a quick amount of time. As we've mentioned, 12 dead, 31 injured.
And it was after that, they say the response to the attack was very swift. And authorities here have also painted a terrifying, a horrific picture of all the soldiers that had jumped to the aid of the wounded soldiers that were in there, ripping off their own shirts, using the shirts to apply pressure bandages to those that were wounded and dying there right before their eyes -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Ed, he is now listed -- one report I saw he's listed in critical condition, Major Hasan. Another report saying he's in serious condition. What do we know about his condition? He was shot at least three or four times, is that right?
LAVANDERA: That's some of the reports that are out there. But according to the lieutenant general that spoke with us a little more than an hour ago, to use his words, he said that Hasan is not near imminent death and described him as being in stable condition.
So it seems like the -- this is the anticipation here is that Hasan is going to survive. Of course, that could drastically change here in the overnight hours, obviously. But it seems like everyone here is operating under the presumption that Hasan is going to survive. Now having said that, we understand that the hospital where he's at, he's been -- he's under guard but not speaking with any of the investigators.
BLITZER: Can you explain or have they explained to you, because I'm still confused on this, earlier for hours we were told by the military at Fort Hood that he had died in the shooting when this military police officer shot him and he was reportedly dead? Then later at around 9:00 p.m. Eastern, we were told by the same lieutenant general that he in fact did survive.
How did they get it wrong, telling us first he was dead and later, several hours later, telling us he was alive?
LAVANDERA: Well, one of the things that officials here are telling us that is kind of complicating the situation is that since this is an area where this happened, it was the chaos of the moment that led to this confusion and part of that is also due to the fact that because this area is a place where so many different soldiers would be coming through on their way out or into Fort Hood, that there are soldiers from a vast number of units.
So you have a lot of different chains of, you know, internal and smaller level chains of command that are in play here and that perhaps that added to the chaos and the confusion of those early hours after the shooting took place.
BLITZER: And as we always caution our viewers and ourselves, in initial reports, very often the information is not accurate, is wrong. In this particular case, that certainly proved to be the case. We had reported based on what the military was telling us that he had died in the shooting, the suspect, but in fact he did not die. He is still alive.
And as Ed Lavandera just reported, he is not -- he is not in any imminent condition, imminent death or anything like that.
All right. I want everyone to stand by. We're going to continue the breaking news coverage. We'll take a quick break. This is a special LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Wolf Blitzer, sitting in for Larry.
ANNOUNCER: LARRY KING LIVE brought to you by...
BLITZER: Welcome back. We're following the breaking news out of Fort Hood, Texas. Twelve dead, 31 injured. A shooting spree earlier in the day. CNN has obtained exclusive video of the suspected Fort Hood gunman earlier today at a 7-Eleven in Killeen, Texas. That's a city right outside of Fort Hood.
You'll see Nidal Malik Hasan on surveillance video purchasing something at the store before the shooting at the military post. The owner says he was a regular customer at this 7-Eleven who bought coffee there every morning.
CNN producer Tracy Sabo spoke with the store owner. She's on the phone joining us now.
Give us some perspective on what our viewers in the United States and around the world, Tracy, are seeing right now.
TRACY SABO, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER (via telephone): Well, Wolf, I spoke to the owner at great length over the last three or four hours and I watched multiple video observation of the person he knew as Major Nidal. Come in this morning, about 6:20, 6:30. He was there for about seven minutes.
He said the person he knew as Nidal came in, his demeanor was very calm. It was very much like it had been many other days when he stopped by and got coffee and hash browns and looked over the paper.
And he said he saw him this morning, didn't speak to him at great length this morning because he was very busy, but said there wasn't anything notable in his character, in his demeanor, anything out of the ordinary.
However, he had spoken to him many times over the past and had several conversations about his faith as a Muslim. They were both Muslim. And also, Nidal had expressed concern to him about a week ago when he stopped by for coffee that he would be soon deployed.
And that as part of that deployment there may be a chance that he would have to hurt or to fight against other Muslims. And that was something that the store owner told us that Nidal -- Major Nidal was very upset about and seemed to have some conflicts, some internal conflict about. And he had expressed that to him.
So it was very interesting to hear his perspective. And he certainly was as surprised as any to learn that this person who he knew to be quite calm, quite friendly, someone he had seen over the past month, month and a half, he estimates, sometimes every day, sometimes every second to third day. But certainly this morning, left without any indication that there was anything that was to follow the rest of his afternoon.
BLITZER: We see he's wearing traditional Muslim or Arab garb, if you will. The robes, the white robes. Is that -- he wasn't wearing his U.S. military uniform. He's a major, a psychiatrist in the United States Army. Did the owner of that 7-Eleven say he used to come in every morning dressed like this?
SABO: He actually said that he would come in wearing different types of clothing. He came in this morning, as you can see and what you're seeing now, wearing the traditional robe. And he said he would come in in that sometimes. But there were other occasions, and I witnessed multiple -- it's basically a security surveillance system as you can see.
And there were a lot of files on his system where you could see him dressed in military fatigues at times, other times he actually was wearing more of a military scrub -- rather, medical scrubs, as we would commonly refer to them.
But he said it wasn't unusual that he would come in in even workout clothes. That he came in usually between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. in the morning. He would only stay a few minutes. Sometimes speak to the owner, sometimes, you know, get what he needed and leave. But never anything that really indicated other than that one conversation about a week ago that there might be any indication he had -- that, you know, was harboring any hostilities or any conflict internally.
BLITZER: And there was never any ideological statements that he made to the owner of this 7-Eleven that would suggest he was irritated with anything going on, is that right?
SABO: No, other than expressing some concern that he was soon to be deployed and that he might have an opportunity where he would have to fight against a fellow Muslim. He clearly indicated to the owner, in a very brief conversation, that he had some concern about that. That was something that weighed heavily on his mind.
And that conversation happened about a week ago. But other than that, no, there was no other conversation he could recall that stood out or that was out of the ordinary in any way. Certainly not this morning. He said he -- you know, traded only a very few words with him this morning as part of a typical purchase of coffee. And it wasn't anything that stood out. And he was very busy. And Major Hasan actually left and it was very unnotable.
BLITZER: Well, thank you, Tracy, for getting us this video. Good work, Tracy Sabo is our producer down at Fort Hood right now. And this is the video, exclusive video that we have obtained from that 7-Eleven outside of the base.
All right, thanks very much, Tracy.
We also have received a statement from Nader Hasan, one of Nidal Hasan's family members, a cousin of the suspect. And I'll read it to our viewers.
"We are shocked and saddened by the terrible events at Fort Hood today. We send the families of the victims our most heartfelt sympathies. We, like most of America, know very few details at this time.
"Here is what we do know about our cousin. Nidal was an American citizen. He was born in Arlington, Virginia and raised here in America. He attended local high schools and eventually went on to attend Virginia Tech.
"We are filled with grief for the families of today's victims. Our family loves America. We are proud of our country and saddened by today's tragedy. Because the situation is still unfolding we have nothing else that we are able to share with you at this time."
That statement coming in from a cousin of the suspect in this case, Major Hasan. Now we're going to continue our breaking news coverage. We'll take a quick break. Much more after this.
BLITZER: We're continuing the breaking news coverage out of Fort Hood, Texas. Twelve dead, 31 wounded. The suspect has been arrested. He was shot but is alive. Tom Foreman is joining us.
Tom, tell us how this investigation is unfolding right now. There are so many questions including the key questions right now of motive.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly, Wolf. And I think there will be three key areas that they'll be looking at here. First of all, look at Fort Hood. This is a big facility here, more than 40,000 troops here. Big sprawling base. One of the first things they're going to look at is -- consider this is the question of their own base security. How did this happen? This is the center of the base right here. And this happened at the Readiness Center.
I want you to look at some video that we shot back at this base just back in June. So these are not the troops who are involved today. But look at this. This is a room that is packed full of soldiers getting checkups with doctors, dentists, things like that, before deploying over to Iraq.
The group that was there today, again, not these people, but this is the exact same room. This is what it looks like when they're doing this in the Readiness Center.
So the base is going to have an investigation to find out what was their security like, how did we allow something like this to happen? Was there something else we could have done better to protect these troops here?
Secondly, one of the things they're going to be looking at is the question of the response to it. I'll run some other tape here. When they look at the response, they're going to be asking themselves, all right, how quickly did we get in there and stop this? How quickly did soldiers respond?
What we do know, Wolf, from the earlier accounts from the commander there is basically that they feel that there was a very quick response because it was in a room full of trained soldiers and with people nearby who were also trained police officers.
So the feeling is that as bad as this was, there was a quick response by people there to treat the wounded, a quick response to respond to the gunmen and to put him out of commission. And in the end there was the sense that this could have been much, much worse.
But they will look specifically at the event itself, and then, of course, Wolf, what they're going to have to do is look very closely at Major Hasan. They're going to have to look for future -- past warning signs about him. Should somebody have known? Should there have been something that told them what was going on and really basic questions, Wolf? How did he get these two pistols that he's accused of bringing in here?
Where did they come from? We're told they're not military weapons, they're probably not military weapons. But also, how did he get them on to the base and to the scene that day with nobody being aware of this and then start opening fire there.
Those are the three different areas they'll have to look at very closely in this, Wolf. But in my experience with past big shootings like that, there are kind of typical areas that any place might look at. But on a military like this -- base like this, it will be more pronounced -- Wolf.
BLITZER: This would be a huge, huge investigation. FOREMAN: This will go on -- this will go on and it will go to the top of the military, Wolf. You can bet that.
BLITZER: No doubt about that. All right, Tom, thanks very much.
We'll take another quick break, continue the breaking news coverage right after this.
BLITZER: Welcome back. This is a special LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Wolf Blitzer, sitting in for Larry.
We're following the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas earlier in the day. Twelve people killed, most of them army soldiers, 31 wounded. The suspect himself shot, is alive, though, is not dead as earlier reported by the military. And we're watching what's going on.
The suspect, a psychiatrist, a medical doctor, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. There's the picture of him, born in Virginia and has served in the U.S. military. Apparently was about to be deployed off to the war in Afghanistan. And according to sources was not happy about that.
But we don't have a specific motive for why he allegedly opened fire at these fellow soldiers earlier in the day. All happened around 1:30 p.m. local time in Texas, 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
Joining us now, a panel uniquely qualified to discuss what's going on. Dr. Charles Sophy is the well-known psychiatrist. He's joining us from Los Angeles. Tom Kenniff is a commissioned officer, Army National Guard, judge advocate, General's Corps, a veteran of the war in Iraq, and a criminal defense attorney.
Soshana Johnson was a U.S. Army specialist, former POW who served in the Army during the war in Iraq. She now serves on an advisory panel for the Veterans Administration as an advocate for mental health care for members of the U.S. military.
And Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist, was a military psychiatrist who trained and worked at Fort Hood.
Let me start with you, Dr. Amen. Now you worked there. You're a psychiatrist. He's a psychiatrist. What do you think about this?
DR. DANIEL AMEN, TRAINED AT FORT HOOD: Well, I actually trained at Walter Reed. I was the chief psychiatrist at a place called Fort Irwin in the Mohave Desert. And you know a lot of people don't understand is, psychiatrists have problems, too. You know just like everyone else.
And if you really want to understand what's going on, you have to understand his brain. That's part of it. But also his psychological makeup, his social makeup and his spiritual beliefs. All of this goes together.
And tomorrow at Fort Lewis, one of my colleagues is actually talking about a program we've developed called Brain Strong to deal with the stresses that everyday soldiers and psychiatrists, really, we're part of the everyday soldier in the military.
BLITZER: At Fort Lewis, Washington state. Is that what you're talking about?
BLITZER: Is it unusual for a psychiatrist to go berserk, shall we say?
AMEN: It's extremely unusual. I mean we have a reputation around our colleagues to sort of be the nuttiest of the group. But now, you know, I'm around thousands of psychiatrists and one of the things you have to wonder, and this is also what happened in Texas. What the heck was going on with this guy's brain that caused him to go berserk?
That's at least one of the questions that people have to ask. At the Amen Clinics we do brain imaging. We published a study on murderers. We've actually scanned a number of mass murders over the years. And all of them have brains that did not work right.
BLITZER: Dr. Sophy, let me weigh you in as well. You're a psychiatrist. You appreciate what's going on. We don't know the motive. We don't know if he went berserk or there was some ideology, an ideological background that convinced him in some sort of warped way that he was doing something important.
DR. CHARLES SOPHY, PSYCHIATRIST: Absolutely. I definitely think that psychiatrists need to be held to a definitely higher standard. We are people trained to know ourselves and to know others. So this guy was really sending out some red flags. You know he had a lot of anxiety. And today was definitely a trigger for him.
But he did not know himself. And that's a concern. I would really want to know what was going on with him, months and weeks as he was getting ready to be deployed. He does not have that internal ability to cope and clearly should have reached out for help and should have known to reach out for help. It's really very disturbing.
BLITZER: Apparently, he was upset about being deployed to go fight and in effect, fight fellow Muslims in Afghanistan or Iraq. He didn't want to go, but under the circumstances, a United States Army major, he had no choice, he had to go.
Can that trigger this stress -- that kind of stress, can that trigger this kind of behavior?
SOPHY: Absolutely. I mean, he's -- as you said, he's in the garb of his tradition. And that's a great belief for him. But obviously he was conflicted over that and he's in a readiness center where he's actually got to get ready. And he's got to get ready emotionally and he's got to get ready physically.
And it was pushing him too much. And you could see that he was really on the edge. And he did not reach for help when he should have.
BLITZER: And I'm sure there will be plenty of -- now they're going back and looking at the past several months, maybe years of his life. There will be warning signs that were probably missed leading up to this tragedy today.
I want everybody to stand by. We'll continue our conversation and get a better appreciation of what's going on right after this.
BLITZER: We're just getting this in here into CNN. Information about the suspect in this case, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who was himself shot but is alive right now. Twelve are dead, 31 wounded. The shooting spree, this massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.
We are now being told that since 2001, Nidal Hasan had told members of his family that he wanted out of the U.S. military but was unsuccessful. This according to a spokeswoman for his cousin, Nader Hasan who tells CNN that Major Hasan, the suspect in this case, had been -- had hold family members that he had been taunted after the 9/11 attacks because he's Muslim and Arab. This is, according to the spokeswoman for the cousin.
Shoshana Johnson is here. A lot of our viewers will remember she was a POW during the war in Iraq back in 2003.
You were taken prisoner. You're a U.S. Army specialist. Now you're out of the army. But you are involved as an advocate dealing with veterans and mental health. What does this sound like to you what happened here?
SHOSHANA JOHNSON, FORMER POW: Basically, it sounds like it got to be too much for him. As someone who suffers from PTSD.
BLITZER: Which is post-traumatic stress.
JOHNSON: Post-traumatic stress disorder. I see my psychiatrist, or I did see my psychiatrist on a very regular basis, and the things I would tell him and share with him, you know, it was a lot for me to handle.
For him to hear it day in and day out from many different soldiers, and I can't imagine what that must have been like for him. Now I can't make judgments on the reason he did this but I can definitely say that this is stressful.
BLITZER: Even for a psychiatrist or a mental health professional to be hearing all the stories that soldiers coming back from the war tell. This could build up, is that what you're saying?
JOHNSON: He's human. I think we keep on hearing that he was a psychiatrist, he's a major. He's still a basic human being. And this kind of information can be disturbing to anyone. I know there's many different experts about psychiatry, about being an officer in the military but I think they forget the basic human element of the situation.
BLITZER: But you would think a trained professional, a psychiatrist like this would understand what he himself might be going through and would reach out for help, cry out for help.
JOHNSON: Reaching out is not that easy. You know as a soldier we learn how to suck it up and drive on. As a POW, it was not my first instinct to seek help, to seek counseling.
BLITZER: When you came back home.
JOHNSON: When I came back come, I had one of my fellow POWs, who's in a bad situation, he's not getting the help that I feel that he deserves to move on. It is a sticky situation in the military right now.
BLITZER: Let's bring in Tom Kenniff, commissioned officer of the Army National Guard, judge advocate, General's Corps. You're now a criminal defense attorney.
Tom, walk us through. He's now been arrested. I assume he hasn't been charged under military justice or anything like that yet. He's either critical or very serious condition, having been shot three or four times.
You see him there in the traditional Muslim garb as he went to a 7-Eleven earlier in the day today. Walk us through what is about to happen to him, assuming he recuperates and is fine.
TOM KENNIFF, FORMER ARMY JAG: Right. Well, first, Wolf, because this act involved a U.S. soldier on a U.S. military installation against other U.S. soldiers, it is going to fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the military. And the case will be prosecuted by the Staff Judge Advocate's Office on Fort Hood.
I don't know, I don't think any of us know yet the extent of his condition, how critical a condition he's in. But assuming that he is able to make a recovery, and has the mental capacity to go through an arraignment procedure, where he can actually be arraigned and advised of the charges against him, which will be first degree murder, most certainly, at some point that will happen.
It could even happen actually in the hospital where they will bring a military judge to the hospital and conduct the arraignment at that point. Once we get past that, there will be a bail hearing. I'm certain that he will be held without bail.
And ultimately you get to, what's called in the military, an article 32 proceeding, which is sort of the equivalent of a preliminary hearing in civilian courtroom, where a military panel determines whether there's probable cause to continue with the prosecution of this individual.
Based on the facts and circumstances we've heard so far, that should not be a very difficult burden for the prosecution to meet in this case. BLITZER: Under the military code of justice, does he have the same rights as a civilian, in other words, can he remain silent if he wants to?
KENNIFF: Yes. Absolutely. You know it's a big misperception that, you know, somehow the military justice system is more draconian, provides less rights to defendants than a civilian justice system. In my personal experience, I found that in a lot of instances, a defendant in a military case has even more rights than someone in a civilian setting may enjoy.
So he has certainly, absolutely has all the rights that are defined in our constitution in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment, the right to counsel, protection against unlawful search and seizure and certainly his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent facing these charges.
BLITZER: Tom, I want you to stand by. Shoshana, stand by. Dr. Sophy, Dr. Amen, everyone stand by. We'll continue this conversation right after this.
BLITZER: Dr. Charles Sophy, you're a psychiatrist. What his colleagues, other psychiatrists, other trained mental health professionals at Fort Hood or the Walter Reed Army Medical Center here in Washington where he served for several years, would they have noticed a problem under normal circumstances?
SOPHY: Well, I mean, it's hard to say how he's been functioning up until today. If they noticed him not coming to work or talking about this specific conflict he's having or his feelings or he seems more anxious or something to show that he's not his typical self, he's not sticking to his typical schedule, would really raise some red flags.
I mean if he's talking to a man in a 7-Eleven, I would hope that at least he's got enough connections with his colleagues to be able to talk to them and connect to them and tell them about some of his fears and his concerns. So I would hope that if they heard that they would, you know, guide him appropriately.
But I have a feeling he probably was kind of hiding this maybe, feeling ashamed and conflicted and not knowing what to do.
BLITZER: Dr. Amen, you were a military psychiatrist. You would think that a military psychiatrist knowing the extraordinary stress of men and women going off to war and coming back from war would seek some professional help if in fact there was a problem.
AMEN: Well, you would think that. But the military is a different bird. I was an enlisted soldier for three years and an army officer for seven. I have a son who is actually in basic training now. And it's a little bit like football players. They don't want other people to know that they're troubled. It's a very -- sort of macho environment. And I don't want to show weakness. Now we would agree that's dumb. And so many people need help that are not getting help. But as the psychiatrist certainly you would hope that he would reach out to his colleagues.
But you know, there's a lot of elements of this that we have to pay attention to. He was feeling picked on by his colleagues. Isn't that what we hear a lot about workplace violence? He was scared. He was stressed. He was afraid. He was unattached.
You know, you hear this less from people that are married, people that have families. It's very important to really sort of look at it from a biological perspective, psychological with his emotional conflict and social stress and the spiritual issues that are probably very important for him.
BLITZER: And being a Muslim and an Arab, Shoshana Johnson, he felt -- at least according to a spokeswoman for his cousin -- that he had been taunted after the 9/11 attacks, even though he served in the United States military, went to medical school, as courtesy of the United States military, and rose up the ranks to become a United States army major.
JOHNSON: Yes, I can believe it. You know, it's hard to imagine that we can be so cruel to one another. And I think for people to assume that because he was an officer and he had fellow officers that there would be no malice towards him is silly. It comes down to basic human things. Kids do it, teenagers do it, adults do it.
BLITZER: Thirty-nine years old, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. He's the suspect in this case. Let me thank Dr. Daniel Amen, Shoshana Johnson, Tom Kenniff, and Dr. Charles Sophy, for helping us better appreciate what's going on.
We'll take another quick break, continue the breaking news coverage right after this.
BLITZER: It's been a tragic day, very tragic. Full of powerful sound and images. Here are some of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. MAJOR JAMIE POSTEN, FORT HOOD SPOKESMAN: Approximately 1:30 today we had -- more than one shooter had fired shots into our soldier readiness processing center and the house theater on Fort Hood.
LT. GEN. ROBERT CONE, U.S. ARMY: It's a terrible tragedy. It's stunning. The soldiers and family members and many of the great civilians that work here are absolutely devastated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not know the nature of this attack. But it is a serious attack upon our war fighters.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Members and those in the gallery will please rise and observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of violence at Fort Hood.
BLITZER: The shooter, alleged shooter, has been identified as Major Malik Nidal Hasan.
CONE: A single shooter that was shot multiple times at the scene. However, he was not killed as previously reported. He is currently in custody and a stable condition. At this time the number of victims killed remains 12 with 31 injured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state of Texas has had a significant loss today.
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: A massive criminal investigation is now under way, led by the United States military with assistance from the FBI. We'll take a look at that when our coverage continues.
BLITZER: Joining us now three guests. Jim Clemente is a retired FBI profiler, in fact just retired last Friday after 22 years in the FBI. Brian Kensel is a former FBI agent, former military security contractor. He's now a professor at St. Leo University Criminal Justice Program. And via Skype, joining us from Pebble Beach, California, Gregory D. Lee, syndicated columnist, U.S. Army Reserves, special agent with criminal investigation division, retired supervisory special agent of the DEA as well.
Jim Clemente, let me ask you. As an FBI profiler, what would you be looking for now if they called you back into duty for the FBI, and say, you know, Jim, you spent 22 years working with the FBI, but we need your help now with this case.
JIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI PROFILER: Well, I'm sure my colleagues were actually going to be looking at his behavior. They're going to determine what he has done leading up to this event. Was this a psychotic break where he was out of control or did he spend a great deal of time planning this and was some triggering event responsible for causing him to act out today.
BLITZER: If there was an ideological motivation?
CLEMENTE: Well, there could have been ideological, cultural, vengeful, or sensational motivations or a combination of all this.
BLITZER: If you were involved in investigating this case, Brian, what would you be looking for right now?
BRIAN KENSEL, FORMER FBI AGENT: We look at his background, they're looking for sources of weapons. Again, as Jim indicated, degree of planning. I think there certainly was -- we've got evidence at this stage that there was substantial planning and that the weapons used, from what we understand, one was a semiautomatic pistol which generally carry all between 10 and 17 rounds per weapon, which means there had to be multiple reloads in order to shoot 42, 43 people.
In so doing that would indicate planning to me. That he took multiple weapons, multiple magazines for those weapons.
BLITZER: Gregory Lee, we heard the Lieutenant General Robert cone at the base of Fort Hood say that it looks like this was just a lone shooter. Obviously, a lone shooter is one thing. If there were others involved in this, some sort of conspiracy, it raises it to a totally different level.
Based on your involvement in these kinds of investigations, I assume they're looking at that. That's a major part of this investigation. Did he act alone?
GREGORY D. LEE, ARMY RESERVE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIR., SPECIAL AGENT: Oh, absolutely. It makes all the difference in the world if you have a lone wolf terrorist versus more than two or others that are trying to go out there to commit mayhem like they did today.
It limits your suspects if you have just one, of course. But what it does is it triggers a bigger investigation to determine if there are others involved or if there's any connection with any type of known or suspected terrorist groups that the man may be connected with.
BLITZER: Does this case, Jim Clemente -- you're a retired FBI profiler -- bring back memories of any other cases? Is there anything similar in your 22 years of the FBI that you've seen? Or is this extraordinary?
CLEMENTE: Certainly there's a number of similar incidents. Of course we have to delve deeper into this particular subject to determine what his motivation was. But the recent case in Pittsburgh in the gym, in the shooting there, we had tremendous insight into that particular shooter's motive, because he posted a blog with historical record of his planning for this event. It could be like that. It could be something totally different.
BLITZER: There was a story -- there's a story, Brian, I'm sure people are studying at the Associated Press, did a story tonight, saying that six months ago, a Major Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades.
Now this Internet posting listed as someone by the name of Nidal Hasan but it's unclear at this point whether that name, which is a relatively common name in the Arab world is the same individual, the U.S. Army major who is involved in this incident.
But I assume they're looking back over Internet postings, looking at his computer trying to find any evidence of what may have caused him to do this.
KENSEL: Well, you can be assured the motivation and the degree of planning, the length of time that's gone into the preparation will certainly shed a lot of light on this. We're all operating under certain suppositions at this point because we simply don't have a lot of facts.
This is all very preliminary and it's going to be the result of those investigations into his historical behavior, if those postings are indeed from him. Any other evidence that they find in his office, in his home, in his vehicle. All of those places undoubtedly are being thoroughly searched as we speak.
BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by. We'll continue our conversation right after this. Newly obtained video of shooting suspect Nidal Hasan when we come back.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attention. Please go down immediately. (INAUDIBLE).
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BLITZER: Video shot right around the time of the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, 1:30 p.m. Central Time, 2:30 p.m. Eastern when Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly shot 12 -- killed 12 soldiers, mostly 12 individuals, most of them soldiers, wounded 31 others at this base at Fort Hood, Texas.
We're getting in some more video now of Major Hasan earlier in the week at that 7-Eleven outside of the base. Take a look at this video. It's different than the video we saw earlier in the day. You see there he's wearing the military medical scrubs as opposed to the robe he wore earlier this morning when he went into that same 7- Eleven. Here he is in the scrubs.
Jim Clemente is a retired FBI profiler. You saw that earlier video when he was wearing that white robe and he was wearing the hat. This time he's just wearing a medical scrub. He is an M.D. after all, he's a psychiatrist.
CLEMENTE: Well, I think it's an interesting snapshot of his behavior. But it's only a snapshot. We see two different images of him. But in both of them, he seems to be acting rationally. He's carrying on conversations, carrying on transactions. So that would be one indication of whether or not he is in some sort of a psychotic break or whether this is something that is much more of an ideological thing.
BLITZER: Gregory Lee, what does it say to you, one morning, Tuesday morning he shows up looking like this, earlier this morning he shows up looking very different, wearing the robes. LEE: Well, regardless, I think he fits the classic profiler, in my estimation, of being the lone wolf terrorist. This guy has got a triple military career. He's trying to get out of the military. He doesn't want to be deployed to Iraq. He thinks his career and life in general is going down the toilet. And he decides that maybe he's better off in the long run and after eternity by being a jihad warrior of some sort.
So I think when it's all said and done, it's probably going to boil down to that. But believe me, there's an awful lot of investigating to do between now and then to come up with the exact facts and circumstances.
BLITZER: Before we can get to that conclusion, there's a lot more evidence, a lot more information we need.
Brian, give us a final thought on this video at the 7-Eleven.
KENSEL: I think these gentlemen have agreed that there's really nothing specific that can be read into it. It's one moment in time. I don't think it provides any real information one way or the other.
BLITZER: Just something that we're going to be studying closely. I'm sure the investigators, whether the U.S. Army investigators, the FBI investigators, profilers and a lot of other folks are going to be learning a great deal about Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
That's it for us. I'm Wolf Blitzer. Sitting in for Larry King. Our special coverage continues right now with "AC 360."