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November 6th, 2009
10:14 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Picture emerges of Nidal Malik Hasan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/11/06/texas.fort.hood.shootings/story.hasan.mug.ctcsonline.jpg caption="Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist at Fort Hood, was taken into custody, ending the shooting rampage." width=300 height=169]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

We’re learning this morning that the suspect in yesterday’s deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, is in stable condition, according to the hospital commander at the base. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist practicing at Darnali Army Medical Center at Fort Hood was shot multiple times and taken into custody after a shooting rampage yesterday afternoon. Hasan opened fire at the military processing center early in the afternoon, killing one civilian and 12 soldiers.

We’re digging deeper today on Hasan’s past. He is a 39-year-old graduate of Virginia Tech and a psychiatrist licensed in Virginia who was practicing at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. Previously, he worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. President Obama is expected to visit Walter Reed this afternoon and could meet with some of the same patients seen by Major Hasan.

An owner of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Fort Hood said Hasan - whom he refers to as "Major Nidal" - came in for coffee and hash browns most mornings, including the morning of the shootings. Surveillance video from the store shows a man who, according to the store owner is Hasan, at the cashier's counter at about 6:20 a.m. Thursday - about seven hours before the mass shooting - carrying a beverage and dressed in traditional Arab garb.

Hasan received a number of military awards but was never deployed outside the U.S. A spokesperson for his cousin says that since 2001 he had apparently told family members that he had been trying to get out of the military, but was unsuccessful. So what were the motives behind his attack? We’re talking to people who knew Hasan and will have better picture of his background tonight. We’re also learning more about the victims of the attack and we’ll have the latest developments for you tonight.

And we’re getting new unemployment figures today. It’s official: in October the nation’s unemployment rate rose above 10 percent for the first time since 1983. This jump was much worse than expected as it proves that employers continued to trim jobs from the payrolls. It’s also a sign of continued weakness in the labor market even though the economy grew in the third quarter. The Obama Administration estimated last month that 640,000 jobs were created or saved by the federal stimulus package passed earlier this year. But compared to the 7.3 million jobs that have been lost by the economy since the beginning of 2008, do you think the jobs created by the stimulus will have much of an effect?

And because of the Fort Hood breaking news last night we didn’t get to show you Anderson’s interview with Oprah. CNN and Oprah’s Book Club are teaming up to bring you a discussion of ‘Say You’re One of Them,’ a book of short stories told from the perspectives of children in Africa. Anderson talks to Oprah about the project and about the unimaginable challenges so many African children face today.

What are you following today? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. imtiazkhan98

    a terrible terrible tragedy & a crime that can only be committed by a deranged person like serial killers & child rapists. To think that we are losing precious American lives in wars abroad & now at home – it saddens you, our hearts go out to the grieving families.
    We read about rising suicide rates in the military & soldier turning against soldier. A sobering thought- is this what war does to those who are in the midst of one.

    November 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Most people who committed mass murders killed themselves or were killed immediately after the murders. Hasan is alive, and should be questioned extensively. If he has an ounce of humanity beneath the evil, he will reveal his motives and mental and emotional state, and names of any others involved. Military, law enforcement, Feds, psychologists, ministers–all should talk with this man, and work to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. Military especially needs to take a thorough look at their screening and counseling policies, and how they deal with their personnel. Some people are not suited for the military; this man asked to be discharged. Why was his request refused?

    November 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  3. Bassam Almesfer

    This dress is also worn in the US by most Muslim men since they either live here as converts or born in the US. This shows that these individuals attempt to mimic the culture but are not from the culture. Clothing is more of a cultural piece rather than a religious one, although religion adds to it. Natives usually know who is what since these customs are not followed appropriately.

    November 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Beverly

    He was allowed into the military because he's an American citizen. The armed forces accept non-citizens too.

    November 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Michelle D. Fonthill .Ont

    Good Morning Eliza

    My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the soliders and civilan who were killed yesterday it's so tragic and sad to think someone could do something like this . How could they have let him in the military do they not asess thier mind and facilties before they get these kinds of jobs ?

    I look forward to seeing Anderson's interview with Oprah today and this event with Oprah's book club with the real stories of theses poor children who are too young to be facing these kinds of conditons it's very sad .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    November 6, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  6. Cindy

    Great job last night Cooper and the rest of you guys!! Although the story had been going for hours you still managed to make it very interesting and even brought us new video and information! CONGRATS on a job very well done!!

    It just doesn't seem that plausible to me that someone of Hasan's intelligence would go to the length of killing 13 of his fellow soldiers to keep from going to Iraq. I just can not see that at all. Then you add in his blog ramblings about suicide bombers and all of that mess and top it off that now some are saying he yelled out Allahu Akbar-God is great...then it really starts leaning, at least in my mind, more towards the terror side of the road than anything else. I just can't see going to that extreme just because you fear going to Iraq. But then again I'm not in that situation...but still...lots of others are and don't go crazy over it.

    By looking at the video that you all had of him at the convenience store and how laid back and casual he looked you just can't convince me at all that the man had some sort of nervous breakdown, snapped and did this horrific thing. I just don't buy that. You could tell in the video that there was nothing what so ever wrong with that man. And he definitely didn't look like someone in the throws of having a mental breakdown. He looked calm, cool and collected to me. He was talking and smiling like nobody's business.

    Hopefully they can talk to the man and get out of him why he decided to go this route. But if he's smart he'll probably lawyer up and not say anything at all. Could be part of his whole plan...lawyer up, not speak and then do an insanity defense and try to get out of it. But..if he is stupid enough to go through with an act like this then he's probably stupid enough to spill the beans to anyone that will listen huh?

    Cindy..Ga.

    November 6, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  7. Kat

    How sad. I hope people don't try to connect this to some kind of terriost plot. He was an American citizen born and raised(not that im saying what he did was ok) My heart goes out to all the families who lost someone yesterday. Im happy the man wasn't killed though, at least now he will pay for his crimes.

    November 6, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  8. Heidi

    Why was this man even allowed in our military?

    November 6, 2009 at 10:49 am |