TODAY | November 05, 2009
>> morning. lester, thank you very much. it has been declared a day of mourning at ft. hood. lieutenant general robert cone is the base's commanding officer. general cone, good morning to you.
>> good morning, matt.
>> let me just first offer my condolences to you and all the members of the ft. hood family this morning.
>> thank you, sir. it's been really remarkable the outreach that the local community and across the country, the people have reached out to ft. hood. we are putting together packages right now to assist the soldiers in dealing with grief, to assist our youngsters that are in school, and it is overwhelming how this country has reached out to us.
>> we've had reports that the alleged shooter in this incident, major hasan , is unconscious, on a ventilator. can you tell me, sir, his exact condition this morning, and was he conscious at some point and able to talk to investigators or answer any questions at all?
>> my understanding is that he is in stable condition and they are going to work to attempt to interrogate him as soon as it is possible.
>> you're trying, i would imagine --
>> that has not been possible to this point.
>> i know you were trying to piece together what happened and why it happened. have you spoken to distant family members, friends, fellow officers, fellow soldiers? have they told you, have they been able to paint a picture of this guy for you?
>> well, i did have the opportunity last night to go to the crime scene again. i went down as it was finishing up yesterday and then spent some time at the hospital last night, in terms of trying to understand what happened. and i think what's really hard for people to understand is how so many people could be injured by a single gunman, which is what we believe now is the case. and i think that really has to do with these confined quarters that these folks were in. a lot of these youngsters were telling me last night that, essentially, because it was so crowded, he was able to move. the soldiers, many of them thought that because this is a training facility, that the gunfire was not unusual to them. many of them, the first they knew that they were hit by the bullets, some of them, as many as three and four times. you talk about amber barr in your lead-up here, amazing young lady . i spoke to her last night. i think what's most notable about her is the fact that despite the fact she was shot, she assisted in helping other soldiers put a tourniquet on a soldier, carried him out to medical care , and only after she had taken care of others did she realize that she herself had been shot.
>> you know, general, we're finding out more about major hasan , including reports that she'd received a poor performance evaluation at his previous post at walter reed army medical center . he had done some arguing with other soldiers and officers about the wars in iraq and afghanistan. he was said to be upset about his own impending deployment. was this -- it's a simple -- was this guy on your radar at all as a possible threat or a risk?
>> he was not, not at my level. but i'm sure as most of these details begin to come out, i think we'll have a much more complete picture. we're getting a lot of help with the fbi and with the army criminal investigating division, and i'm sure all of these factors will be uncovered.
>> according to a relative of one of the witnesses to the shooting, major hasan shouted " allah akbar " or "god is great" before he opened fire on the soldiers. can you confirm that from other reports?
>> there are firsthand accounts here from soldiers that are similar to that.
>> which raises the question again, obviously, of motive. i mean, was this a guy who was so afraid or concerned about being deployed that he snapped or --
>> i lost my --
>> -- as a devout muslim, do you think there was some religious motivation for his actions? apparently, we have lost the audio for general cone. hopefully, we'll re-establish communications with ft. hood in just a little while. it is now