Transcript for Fort Hood Shooting: Hospital Briefing
Hi I'm Michelle Franzen this is an ABC news digital live coverage of the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas. Officials to Scott and white memorial hospital -- half an hour outside of Fort Hood. Are set to brief the public on the state of the sixteen people injured during yesterday's shooting four others including the suspected gunman died. And military officials are investigating the suspected gunman's background looking for clues. About what drove him to open fire on his colleagues. For the first time we are getting a look at the suspected gunman this picture of Ivan Lopez. Said to be from his FaceBook page has named there -- slip -- Let's go to temple Texas now Scott and white memorial hospital for this morning briefings by doctors. And also because we understand there may be some specific questions related post traumatic stress disorder. -- chairman of the department of psychiatry. Doctor Alex Thompson to -- -- who -- answer questions related to that. The final thing I would like to say is also wanted to -- very sincere thank you for the exceptional care team here Scott -- For what they did last night with -- doing today. Doctor Davis. They see. I -- con -- those comments before I begin addressing the patient's status I think did. Some particular attention is being given to Darnell hospital over imports could be an exceptional job stabilizing -- of these patients -- getting ready for transfer here. My head is often demanding that -- -- crew did an exceptional job. I would like to also think -- my colleagues in trauma who worked tirelessly throughout the night. Along with my colleagues and emergency department nursing ice units that are I think with a well. Played team effort. -- -- the patients. This morning we do you have nine patients here it's gotten -- Three of them remain in critical condition. We have five others two of those are put -- -- -- fair condition and the remainder are in good condition. There is it. Possibility that several of them may actually discharged from the hospital today some of those are fortunate to have minor injuries in -- not require further hospitalization or procedures. At this time. The ones who are awake and talking are in good spirits are busy with each of this morning and their families that have made the bad side. We have been able to contact and we have need to conduct off any members. -- the grabbed it -- famous for each of the patients who are here. And so that has been a good thing to be able to accomplish this morning. Some again -- -- -- -- had. Some good discussions this morning at this point. That's kind of but I had prepared I'm happy to try to answer any questions that you guys may have. -- injuries are looking and now. Sure is sure so are critical patients have specifically they have some injuries to the -- we have a potential spine injuries. And we also have an abdominal injury. President presentations that was so consider in critical condition. There are two patients who will require further surgery the third is going to go on some further diagnostic testing and it's not definitively clear whether or not he will need surgery. The other two will undergo read operation one today one probably tomorrow. Well bill one patient has an abdominal injury will need to go in and just make sure this -- is controlled the idea is to you re establish the continuity the intestines we've had this. -- -- -- -- And basically make sure that everything is is physiological and I'm ready to take out of the back together. The neck injury will need further inspiration and potentially some work by specialists to look at. Injuries and -- there. Doctors -- news. So. -- my understanding is there there are all current and military. Again -- males and one -- I think -- their degree of military service varies -- -- -- there as young as 21 -- in their forties and eight of their probably it. Very degree of men of military service there. Believe the low twenties to mid forties I don't wanna get held this specific -- but that's what I understand. -- That's not clear at I don't -- -- put a percentage on that we've still there working through just kind of evaluation of that injury with radio body techniques having our neurosurgeons. In our -- team at the bedside -- -- that. And will hopefully have some more information on that in the coming days the right now I feel like it's the maturity prognosticate on that. And -- -- there are several that were against superficial cutting grazing type injuries that glanced up body cavities. And you know maybe through. The -- of an arm we also had Som as a missionary -- -- shrapnel type injuries from bullet impact on structures every nearby. There's Collison mouth facial injuries. As -- -- -- to some examples of the patients who may be released later today. First place. They are currently still in the various. I'm you reach all of -- Some of them who. We're salute followed news reports and had difficulty getting all their loved ones where they were actually fought my goodness. Cars. Do not expect that from us. Seven spent may have some more information on that the ones that I talk to you had had previously been contacted I think by the army for the most part. One of the challenges we had was just identifying people when they got here because as you can imagine. They didn't necessarily have to -- these on the many more they were evaluated -- -- that army hospital some of them preliminarily. And so some of that gets removed and they get a signs of trauma number so when they got here it was -- a job of kind of corny but Darnell. And understanding exactly dead in the of these folks whatever we got. And it's also very important to understand that our first and foremost duty is to protect the rights of our patients. And so when individuals call in and -- present -- them as family members we have to verify that that is indeed a family member. Before we put them in touch with that the patient and that does take some time. Again in the media event our first and foremost priorities to nature of the best medical -- getting to patients. We respect -- the family's needs to -- for information and we do our very best to get that information to them as soon as we can't. It's. Out. At this time and based on our experience. From 2009. In these kind of circumstances again our first and foremost priority. Is the emotional and physical well being of our patients. We will be meeting with -- patients today. And the family members and introducing the concept speaking with the media. It is only with their commission would we serve as the intermediary. And connect them through our media relations office. To connect with with the media. Again please understand this is emotionally and physically traumatic event and that's what the patients need to York -- front. That's the first priority but yes we understand the need that some of the main wish to speak out but we will organize. -- -- -- -- -- Normal that he EST I think this kind of worried what this shooting that fifty. It's. Well so the Libya will speak to is what we're looking at with the patients who were caring for right now -- you heard from doctor Davis is people are often critically ill. So being able to address complex emotional responses to this really take some bit of time. I don't know I have not visited with -- any of these servicemen. Many of them have come back and had combat experience so your imaginary -- into a safe place and -- Stanley and now having this kind of violence. Part about it they're home so. The likelihood that somebody would have -- difficult emotional response and that is high and so our job is going to be as they get well provide. Services and support work closely with Fort Hood so that they can -- it. The kind of attention that they need emotionally early on so we really worked closely with the surgical team -- when somebody's ready and able to talk about. Things and start working closely with Fort Hood to align -- services but yes it's a it's a critical issue that we have to address an address early but. Only when somebody's well enough and physically comfortable enough to be that. This year was due process. Evaluated -- I can speak to nothing about the the treatment or. Mental state of the person -- did this. -- injury. Yes. Culture for analysis possibilities. Certainly anytime the -- is involved in this kind of trauma in his approach possibility. Again I'm not prepared to say that there is the degree of paralysis what that degree would be. At this point -- we have more work to do on that before I can give you any further information on that and neurological injuries generally take some time to sort out anyway so. That'll be something you'll understand more over the coming couple of days. Injuries that result. To whom was it from something else and it happening in -- opinions tells me that there's there is a result of gunshot -- we -- -- -- more fatalities at this point. I believe that our patience are still under some significant physiological stress we have a lot of work to do in the operating room as well as. And in the time to come he -- this is just the beginning of the process really. Trauma is a continuum of care. And it starts in this deal with the medics and -- continues to dvds video arts the icu and in honor rehab so there's a tremendous amount of work left to be done for a lot of these patients. I would say that in terms of life threatening events. Right now -- -- pretty good for our patients. That we we still have some time ago before and when it. Declare them completely out of the woods. Because your responses daughters were -- and they heard Kate. What is that it is possible they hear about it -- -- just talk by the response. Making Communist evening -- motive for further comment to me for me personally -- -- relayed to me initially back text message from friends. And then -- began to rapidly receive information the hospital and from the surrounding area we have a very well old regional machines. I sure -- regional advisory councils medical value board so we have some communication tools that are in place there and we were able to get things moving really quickly. We talked -- the last night about our command -- doctors -- that is very involved and that. And he can maybe speak to some work. Just the the initial information started coming across the newswires in being text. By individuals. On the base. Please understand. Many of our staff and what this is why it's home to us many of our staff. Spouses or family members who are posted at Fort Hood -- -- in the military. And so when tragedy happens to them we feel it when we hear about an early modern days. Electronic texting -- -- -- start hearing information very early. In the course. So what we do as we rapidly assess what this is situation is determine how many patients we are going to get the make a decision to open up we call a command center. That sends out multiple. Alerts alerts the necessary providers well -- nurses and other ancillary care members. And so they're both they're notified both electronically. By phone calls and basically what they hear. Across the media. And if they have loved ones done on base. And what happens. What happens here always. When we does. He is challenged we raised eight and so everybody starts coming. This part. They've given us some some mild anecdotal. Stories and are prepared to release those sadly that may be part of the investigation and I don't want to. So anything that could be potentially compromising -- that. California for the families. -- you don't find plus. As the -- that they want to address some -- -- to some degree. We're having pastoral support but one of the things we've done is collaborating with the -- happens. We worked very well with them that came in last night and we provided support the family. They've got some family resources on -- heard those individuals that would provide support. Some of -- more like the family readiness group chaplain can -- life sooner and the command teams that are assigned. And so the -- going 24 hours and covered our. The support for those individuals and -- about. We're being. This just. Over. In the community. -- -- -- -- I think -- You know we are we are here for the patients and staff. I don't think we also try to be sensitive to the community reach out to them is feasible and right now the patients are primary focus. But we're also collaborating. With others is trying trying to reach such as supporters -- -- which. It would. Because for talking about people who were in the military and one great thing. Any press he superhuman that are better equipped to deal what's the aftermath something like this I would imagine that's pressed her. Far from the case and your community is it will be helpful definitely did you did you address anyone thinks it of these people -- obvious what's that Gil -- I find that. A common denominator among all humans that we all -- to cope in different -- And you've been listening to a press conference from doctors and hospital staff at white memorial hospital. For this morning's briefing where many of the victims from the Fort Hood shooting were taken for treatment we are now joined from the Pentagon by ABC's Louis Martinez. -- we just heard from doctors there about the patients that were taking -- many of them military personnel what do we what do we learned about the victim. Well we learn that their ages range of from the early twenties two as much as forty years of age. Which is kind of symbolic of -- today's military actually you know you're -- have young soldiers working with more experienced and -- Officers we have no gauge what their rank may be but we -- get a sense. Their ages we -- that the three of them in Syria in critical condition. A couple of them require surgery one injured seriously in the neck. And that I believe the number was 790 release of some might be released later this afternoon because their injuries -- severe because demanding -- By the gunfire ricocheting bullets as if that's what. -- injuries and doctors of course talking a little bit about the treatment that they are receiving some of their injuries and when they were brought there. -- do we know more -- where this took place. In fort Fort Hood that it happened at several locations Michelle would the first indication was that it happened outside a medical brigade building. That the shooter who were identifying has specialist Ivan Lopez. I went inside started shooting and then ran to his vehicle. Was perceived by military police and ran into another building. Which I was a transcript which -- the transportation unit when shooting inside -- and was confronted outside by female military police officer. Who engaged him she pulled her weapon and then he -- hands and then at the same time reached down into his jacket and pulled out the weapon with which he have been killed himself. So it happened at various locations I was surprised to hear last night that. When the top officer at Fort Hood gave his preaching that he indicated that -- is actually firing from his vehicle. That's kind of -- on -- that you typically hears and it's like this. A lot of different sites for them to continue their investigation. What we haven't learned yet and what we hope to later on today is more about the suspected gunman. Who has been identified as -- -- Give us an idea of what you're hearing from officials on you aren't. Well we -- some of every get details from. Needs to army's senior leadership there are scheduled to appear before budget hearing them about a month ago. And obviously today's hearing took guns and you were relevance given the incident last night at Fort -- It provided details but specialist -- such as the fact that he would join the army back in the summer of 2008. That he had one deployment to Iraq the last about four months. And that when he came back about. He -- last fall I believe he indicated that he was suffering from some kind of traumatic brain injury. They went through his records they didn't find anything that it would indicate that he actually had anything that would put -- -- -- that. We heard army secretary -- tell congress today that. The -- had no record of direct combat. And that he was essentially truck driver with this unit and Iraq. He had been seeing a psychiatrist. As recently as last month. And did they looked over that examination and they determined that there -- no signs there that would indicate that he was either threatened self with two others. Or any idea notion that he was contemplating suicide so when he said -- the game plan was it doing monitoring him. He had been under some medications -- just eating had been described -- medications. -- most notably avenue for lack of sleep. For sleep deprivation. And and and -- McKee also said that he seeing TV suffered from some symptoms of depression and anxiety. So a lot of details about him and general Odierno who is this the army senior general. He said that this is -- he calls it looked as an experienced soldier. Who had been -- in Puerto Rico National Guard for nine years prior to his having enlisted an active duty army. -- back in 2008. And that so he -- that. You know the army is looking more and into the details of his record to see. What they can find that might indicate a motive in -- senseless shooting. -- we know that military officials are dealing with soldiers returning. From numerous duties or duties in Iraq Afghanistan over the the past decade. Fort -- though has a very specialized. Sort of unique. Relationship with this many of their soldiers deployed multiple times and of course the shooting five years ago give us an idea -- the protocol is there and it's different Fort Hood as a result of this. Well actually -- for. -- generally and his comments because he said in his testimony this morning. That the shooting back in 2009 there were changes implemented as a result of that and he thinks that those changes actually. Improve the situation history if he said it could have been much much worse. He said that they were changes implemented in the training. He said that he had the look the alert so that -- pushed out. You may have seen the video -- last night of the yes sirens going off with warnings to base personnel to remain inside. He said the response they -- response times for the response forces that -- first responders. Was improved because of the training that they had received. So he indicated that the 2009 shooting and the changes implemented as a result of that. Had actually had an impact in lessening the blow from last night's shooting of course he says this is is it that initiative that hits home. For many soldiers who go through Fort Hood which is one of it is the nation's largest. Army facility. He himself said that he has served their several times I've -- said commands. That he's gone to the ranks to become now army's top general. And he says that 21 thing he does now is that the forty community is resilient. As they've endured -- yet. Deployments over the last decade and the shootings in 2009 and now regrettably yet another incident there. And -- we've heard a lot about posttraumatic stress PT SD we'll probably hear a lot more as this investigation moves forward that you mentioned the suspected gunman. According to military officials had not been officially diagnosed with that just been monitored. Four what he his problems that he brought forth yet it's interesting he self reported himself as having a traumatic brain injury. There's been some indications that TBI is is referred to could lead to PT SD. Let's he. Again we heard from army a senior army officials this morning that the psychiatric -- that he had. At least one as recently as last month didn't indicate that he was threat. Or that. There was any indication that his military record reflect that he would have had a -- to begin with. Not to be you could -- -- immunity from a roadside bomb if you're driving along a road and a bomb explodes. You'll you'll have the impact. From the news -- reparation -- the end explosion three year helmet. Commenting you may not even be aware that you have some kind of damage. So that's why one of the army takes reports fatigue yet very seriously. That's probably why they took his case under advisement and -- a lot to medical care. And what are military officials -- -- now looking into the background specifically of the suspected gunman. What -- poring over his record he's. His deployments he had that one deployment to Iraq towards the end of the US deployment in -- Iraq there in 2011 so we sit there for four months. We're getting information that he was in the -- as a replacement soldier. -- particularly soldiers when he deployed to Iraq would be -- for -- yourself. What's interesting here is accused him for four months. I he -- and we were told that he didn't see any direct action. Prior to that and when he was a national Guardsmen with the pottery the National Guard he had another overseas deployment to the Sinai Peninsula where the United States maintains a force of observers basically peacekeepers as part of the Camp David accords and so those were the only overseas diplomacy had secretary -- said that. Look at is did and not seem to have a history of venue affiliation with extremist organizations. But he said that both he and Odierno we're keeping an open mind as -- investigation progressed because it. Though they may not be anything right now they're going to continue to delve into this as deep as they can. To see what potential motives and -- have been. For -- shooting last night and and as of now they don't have and in their briefing and they said that the suspected gunman lived off posts that. And they're also looking into the gun that he. -- -- -- -- Right he used a 45 caliber semiautomatic. Handgun that he -- recently purchased. Who live off base which is not so uncommon is such a facility -- most married families actually live op posed. And it's it's it's -- it's a combination of living on post and not living and then base housing. And one thing that we heard from Q this morning was that. They are everyone on post is required to register their weapon whether they live there or not in this case he would have been required to register this weapon. And it doesn't seem that he did now it's obvious he's violating procedures. But the the registration of handguns at Fort Hood. It is not a typical -- it's that -- it is typical cross military. The only access that service members have to weaponry is when they are conducting training. They have to go to the armory to sign up for there the weapon to use it -- return it and did so -- that everything is accounted for you bring up personal weapon. You also have to register with the base now this is something that was tightened at Fort Hood after the 2009 shooting. But obviously this is that something that happened yet again because he -- -- on the post. And that's another concern security on the bases well. When you access a military base if you are in uniform typically all you have to do is just flash your -- And as we saw with the Washington -- -- shootings that's exactly what happened there is no search it's it's basically the trust system. Now that we've had several incidents over the last six months like this I am certain there's going to be another review. I'm looking at whether those kind of security controls need to be tightened and Louis -- mentions the military background that officials will be looking -- what we know about the suspected gunman. Personal -- Well we know -- -- the 34 years only -- marriage with a three year old he had just moved into Killeen -- home for Fort Hood. I he had been at another base. Where and where he had been assigned and that was where he first record -- his self reported a traumatic brain injury. Now what -- do -- is that there were some kind of an event some kind of an argument at the workplace. We don't know exit precisely when that occurred. I think investigators are looking at that as a potential trigger. Though obviously we have very few details we hope to get more later this afternoon. Another thing we learn about Lopez is -- -- -- of his record indicated that he had no serious misbehavior issues. So I guess it's for now there were no red flags then indicated that he -- and -- to something like this. An ongoing investigation ABC's -- -- at the Pentagon thank you. This has been an ABC news digital live coverage of the Fort Hood shooting. Again four dead including the suspected gunman sixteen others being treated for injuries sustained. During that attack you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- Starring this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.