A Palestinian uncle of the Fort Hood shooting suspect said Saturday that his nephew loved America and wanted to serve his country, but his work as a military psychiatrist drove him to tears.
The alleged gunman in Thursday's shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was wounded and taken into custody after an exchange of gunfire with two police officers. At least 13 people died and more than two dozen were wounded.
His uncle Rafik Hamad, 64, said Saturday that Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was emotionally shaken by his work treating US soldiers returning from war zones. Still, he wanted to serve his country because of the opportunities it had given him as an American, Hamad said.
"I think I saw him with tears in his eyes when he was talking about some of patients, when they came overseas from the battlefield," Hamad said, speaking in halting English. "One has no face, one he have no legs." Hasan struggled to appear calm and unaffected to his patients, his uncle said.