(WBEN/AP) - A Western New York serviceman is among the sixteen other soldiers wounded in the Fort Hood shootings. Maj. Patrick Miller, 32, from the town of Allegany in Cattaraugus County underwent several hours of surgery Wednesday night. The extent of his injuries was not known.
Those injured were taken to the base hospital and other local hospitals. At least three of the nine patients at Scott and White Hospital in Temple were listed in critical condition.
Miller lives with his wife outside Austin, Texas. Information on his condition hasn't been released, but a doctor at a Texas hospital treating some of the wounded says he doesn't expect any more deaths resulting from the shooting.
"He was a self-starter, highly motivated, he was focused on what he wanted to do," said Frank Martin, who had Miller as a Cadet in St. Bonaventure's ROTC program. "I was fortunate enough to run in to Patrick just a couple of years ago, and he was just finishing up his MBA at Syracuse. He was excited about his next assignment, and was just enjoying being in the military. It was very clear that the passion I saw in him as a young man applying for an ROTC scholarship was still very much a part of his life in the military."
Miller's Facebook page indicates he is a combat veteran with medic training and two tours of duty in Iraq. A St. Bonaventure and Syracuse University graduate, he lives with his wife Ashley in Austin TX. He attended Allegany Limestone High School . According to Miller's LinkedIn profile, he worked in Army finances at Fort Drum from October 2011 to August 2013.
His family is enroute to Fort Hood to be at his side. A vigil for Miller will be held at the Allegany Baptist Church Thursday night at 6:00pm.
Miller graduated from his hometown college, St. Bonaventure University, in 2003, then joined the Army. He earned masters' degrees in business and public administration from Syracuse University in 2009.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement:
"The shooting at Fort Hood has left New York saddened and shocked at the senseless violence that claimed the lives of dedicated soldiers and injured 16 others. I join the nation in mourning the loss of those Americans who demonstrated great patriotism in serving their country. Among those injured is Major Patrick Miller, from Allegany County, who joined the U.S. Army after graduating from St. Bonaventure in 2003. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to the injured victims and their families."
|A senior U.S. defense official says one person is dead and 14 wounded after the gunman, in the shootings at Fort Hood after gunman Ivan Lopez, an Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness, opened fire on the base Wednesday evening.||That base was also the scene of a mass shooting in 2009. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in history.|
|M O R E O N B A S E S E C U R I T Y : On the WBEN Liveline: Hear Col. Jeff McCausland (US Army Ret'd.) CBS Military Consultant. | Read More on Fort Hood's Past Attack|
Scroll below these maps for pictures & Other Base Shootings | READ More On The Gunman here
"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again," Obama said. Offering thoughts and prayers to the entire Texas community, Obama pledged to do everything possible to ensure Fort Hood had everything it needed to weather a difficult situation and its aftermath.
The gunman who opened fire at Ft. Hood was an Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness
Within hours of the Wednesday attack, investigators started looking into whether the man's combat experience had caused lingering psychological trauma. Fort Hood's senior officer, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, said the gunman had sought help for depression, anxiety and other problems.
|Who is The Gunman?
Authorities have released little, but hre's what we know:
- His name is Ivan Lopez. He is married, has other family members and lives in the Fort Hood area, having arrived at the post in February from another military base in Texas. He was assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Hood, which is a logistics and support unit. Officials did not release his rank on Wednesday, but said he was not in the process of leaving the Army.
- Lopez served for four months in Iraq in 2011. He was not wounded in action while serving overseas, but self-reported a traumatic brain injury upon his return to the U.S. "He was not a wounded warrior," said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the senior officer at Fort Hood. "He was not wounded in action, to our records, no Purple Heart, not wounded in action in that regard."
- Lopez had several mental health issues. He was taking medication and receiving psychiatric help for depression and anxiety, and was undergoing a process to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder. "We do not know a motive," Milley said. "We do know that this soldier had behavioral health and mental health issues, and was being treated for that."
- Lopez had one weapon, a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun, that was not registered with post authorities as required. Authorities don't yet know how much ammunition he was carrying.
- Lopez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He killed himself in a parking lot at the base transportation brigade's administration building, after he was confronted by a military policewoman. "It was clearly heroic, what she did at that moment in time," Milley said. "She did her job, and she did exactly what we would expect of United States Army military police."
Among the possibilities investigators planned to explore was whether a fight or argument on the base triggered the attack.
"We have to find all those witnesses, the witnesses to every one of those shootings, and find out what his actions were, and what was said to the victims," said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to discuss the case by name.
The official said authorities would begin by speaking with the man's wife, and expected to search his home and any computers he owned.
The shooter was identified as Ivan Lopez by Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. But the congressman offered no other details, and the military declined to identify the gunman until his family members had been notified.
Lopez apparently walked into a building Wednesday afternoon and began firing a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. He then got into a vehicle and continued firing before entering another building, but he was eventually confronted by military police in a parking lot, according to Milley, senior officer on the base.
As he came within 20 feet of an officer, the gunman put his hands up but then reached under his jacket and pulled out his gun. The officer drew her own weapon, and the suspect put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger a final time, Milley said.
The gunman, who served in Iraq for four months in 2011, had been undergoing an assessment before the attack to determine if he had post-traumatic stress disorder, Milley said.
He arrived at Fort Hood in February from another base in Texas. He was taking medication, and there were reports that he had complained after returning from Iraq about suffering a traumatic brain injury, Milley said. The commander did not elaborate.
The gunman was never wounded in action, according to military records, and there was no indication the attack was related to terrorism, Milley said. His weapon had been recently purchased in the local area and was not registered to be on the base, Milley said.
Those injured were taken to the base hospital and other local hospitals. At least three of the nine patients at Scott and White Hospital in Temple were listed in critical condition.Until an all-clear siren sounded hours after Wednesday's shooting began, relatives of soldiers waited anxiously for news about their loved ones.
"The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I've ever felt," said Tayra DeHart, 33, who had earlier heard from her husband that he was safe but was waiting to hear from him again.
A Military Police officer runs toward the road leading to the Main Gate, Wednesday, (AP Photo/The Temple Daily Telegram, Rusty Schramm)
A Fort Hood Police Officer stops a vehicle near the main gate, Wednesday, (AP Photo/The Temple Daily Telegram, Rusty Schramm)
|Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait for permission to re-enter the Fort Hood military base, where they live, following a shooting on the base, Wednesday. (AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa)|
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She immediately called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover.
"I just want him to come home," she said.
President Barack Obama vowed a complete investigation. In a hastily arranged statement while in Chicago, Obama reflected on the sacrifices Fort Hood troops have made - including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they're at their home base, they need to feel safe," Obama said Wednesday. "We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again, " the president said.
Wednesday's attack immediately revived memories of the 2009 shooting rampage on Fort Hood, the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 were wounded.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted last year for the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood. According to trial testimony, he walked into a crowded building, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" - Arabic for "God is great!" - and opened fire. The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by base police officers.
Hasan, now paralyzed from the waist down, is on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression.
After that shooting, the military tightened base security nationwide. That included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training, and strengthening ties to local law enforcement. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.
In September, a former Navy man opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, leaving 13 people dead, including the gunman. After that shooting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (pictured L on Wednesday) ordered the Pentagon to review security at all U.S. defense installations worldwide and examine the granting of security clearances that allow access to them.
Asked Wednesday about security improvements in the wake of the shootings, Hagel said: "Obviously when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something's not working."