|From NY Daily News nydailynews.com 11/06/09:
One of Fort Hood massacre victims was pregnant soldier Francheska Velez; Moment of silence on bases
BY MATTHEW LYSIAK IN FORT HOOD, TEX. AND CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, November 06, 2009
Silence reigned at U.S. military bases around the world at 2:34 p.m. Friday - one day to the minute after a deranged Army shrink massacred 13 people at Fort Hood.
"This was a kick in the gut," said Gen. George Casey, the Army Chief of of Staff.
The moment of silence in memory of the victims came as a fresh tragedy added to the horror with the revelation that one of the victims was a pregnant soldier.
Francheska Velez, who returned to the U.S. just three days earlier from a foreign posting, was filling out paperwork when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan embarked on a bloody rampage that left her and a dozen others dead.
A 21-year-old Chicagoan, Velez was six-weeks pregnant when she was cut down Thursday, Fox Chicago News reported.
Hasan might have claimed even more victims were it not for Officer Kimberly Munley, a courageous civilian cop who shot Hasan four times - even after she was hit, officials said.
"She walked up and basically engaged him," Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander at Fort Hood, said on "Good Morning America."
"I think, certainly, this could've been far worse."
Hasan was unconscious but in stable condition, breathing with the aid of a ventilator. Munley was also in stable condition, officials said.
At least one witness said Hasan - who once posted a comment sympathetic to suicide bombers on the Internet - hollered "Allahu Akbar!" before firing.
Army officials could not confirm he shouted the slogan - Arabic for "God is great" - and other witnesses said he was silent.
Witnesses described Hasan, who was wearing an Army uniform during the assault, as steely calm. He paused only to reload one of his handguns. When it was over, Hasan lay motionless, leading officials to mistakenly assume he was dead.
Battle-hardened Sgt. Howard Appleby of the Bronx said "it looked like a war zone."
"There was blood everywhere," said Appleby, 31. "It was unbelievable. Guys were screaming and yelling. People were rushing to help. I took my shirt off and began assisting the wounded."
The death toll from the murderous attack rose from 12 to 13 early Friday after a woman died from gunshot wounds. It was not clear if Velez was that woman, or if she died earlier.
Some 28 people were recovering from their injuries, officials said.
Velez is the second Chicago-area massacre victim. Earlier, the Army confirmed that Pfc. Michael Pearson of suburban Bolingbrook, Il. was among the dead.