By Rae Jefferson and Rebecca Fiedler
Four victims of today’s Fort Hood shooting were taken to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple for treatment of various injuries, said hospital representatives in a press conference this evening.
The shooting left at least one person dead and an unconfirmed number of people injured, although the most recent estimates were at 14. An anonymous senior U.S. defense official said the suspected shooter is believed to be dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The official wished to remain anonymous because the investigation is ongoing and the individual was not authorized to release the information to the public.
The first patient was received at 6:12 p.m. and two more were being airlifted in at around 8 p.m., said hospital officials.
These two patients en route to Scott & White were to be received directly into operating rooms, Couchman said.
Dr. Glen Couchman, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said the patients’ conditions range from stable to significantly critical, with wounds such as gunshots to the chest, abdomen, extremities and neck. The gunshots sustained by the patients range from a single shot to several shots, although it is unknown exactly how many injuries each patient sustained, he said.
The patients are all being transferred from the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Couchman said. Scott & White was notified around 5 p.m. that its assistance would be needed, he said. The hospital is a level 1 trauma center, which means it has the resources to care for the critical injuries sustained by the patients, Couchman said.
“We’re always open to help them out,” Couchman said.
In 2009, the hospital received roughly 11 patients from the Fort Hood shooting that occurred that year. During the attack, Army psychiatrist and Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on unarmed soldiers in a medical facility at the base. The incident left 31 wounded and 13 dead, according to a Reuters article.
Since that incident, the hospital has run through mass casualty event drills every few months, Couchman said. The last drill occurred about four months ago, he said.
“I’m pleased to say we were well-prepared for that,” he said, referring to today’s sudden influx of patients.
Couchman expressed his grief for the tragedy.
“This is another sad day for central Texas,” he said.
Associated Press contributed to this article.