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Western New York soldier among among those injured at Fort Hood

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Western New York soldier among among those injured at Fort Hood
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ALLEGANY, N.Y. — "It's a shock to all of us to hear of his injures," said Lt. Col. Al Zehnder, professor of military science.

Thoughts and prayers went out from St. Bonaventure University on Thursday to Major Patrick Miller.

"We hope that he'll come out of the other side of this and continue to do great things," said Zehnder.

Miller is one of 16 injured in Wednesday's fatal shooting at Fort Hood. He underwent surgery at a Texas hospital and was placed in the ICU.

"A career in the military is being willing to go into harm's way on behalf of the nation, being attacked at home, not abroad, not in a combat environment. It's just as devastating as anything else in your hometown would be," said Zehnder.

"Everything that I saw in him as a cadet led me to believe he'd be a fine officer," said Retired Lt. Col. Frank Martin, ROTC program.

Miller graduated from St. Bonaventure in 2003 with a major in physical education, and was a Seneca Battalion member of the Army ROTC.

"He epitomized everything that we wanted in cadets in the ROTC program: hard working, dedicated, focused, you know, tremendous values, just a clear perspective on what he wanted to do," said Martin.

Before attending St. Bonaventure University, Miller was a student at Allegany-Limestone and graduated in 1999.

"We want him to know we are all rooting for him. A very good student who was involved in our school district and becomes someone who's a bit of a role model for our current students," said Dr. Karen Geelan, Allegany-Limestone superintendent.

Miller played football and ran track.

"Pat was a tremendous student athlete, he was a leader. Really not surprised that his career path went towards the military," said Mike Wilber, physical education teacher and coach.

Miller graduated from Syracuse University with a Masters degree. His military career also took him to Fort Drum.


The superintendent for the Allegany-Limestone Central School District issued a statement. He said, "Whenever these kinds of tragic events occur, it concerns all of us, but when we learn one of our own is involved, it deeply affects us. We are a close knit community, and truly care about each other. Our best wishes go out to Pat."

Miller also attended Syracuse University, and spent time at Fort Drum. Kent Syverud, the chancellor at Syracuse University, released the following statement:

“The Syracuse University community is saddened to learn that our alumnus, Major Patrick Miller, was injured in yesterday’s shooting at the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. Our thoughts are with Major Miller and his family, and with all of those affected by this terrible incident."

The deadly shooting happened Wednesday around 4 p.m. According to Commanding General Mark Milley, Ivan Lopez was the gunman. Miller said he opened fire on soldiers near Fort Hood's First Medical Brigade. He proceeded to get into a car, and fire more shots while driving. Lopez eventually exited the car, was confronted by a military police officer, and shot himself in the head with his own weapon.

Including Lopez, four people were killed and 16 people were injured. Milley said Lopez was being treated for mental health issues, and was under evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lopez served four months in Iraq in 2011. Although he wasn't injured while serving, he claims he suffered a traumatic brain injury after returning home.

CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Western New York soldier among among those injured at Fort Hood
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Our Jess Mitchell spoke with Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin about the impact on the community, as people return to work and school on the base.

The Fort Hood community is starting its day following yesterday's horrific tragedy. People who live at Fort Hood were allowed back on post around 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Four people are dead, including the shooter, and 16 others people were treated at a nearby hospital. Wednesday's shooting marked the second mass shooting at Fort Hood in five years.

"It's obviously unfortunate to have this happen again so quickly. We don't ever wish anything like this upon our community, and the folks over at Fort Hood,' said Dr. Matt Davis, a trauma surgeon at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Texas. "I do feel like having been through that experience allowed us to kind of have a sense of what we needed to do this time, even better than before, and I felt like last time, we responded well, but we've gotten a little bit of practice, unfortunately, at this."

The previous shooting happened on November 5, 2009. Nadal Hassan, a former army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded more than 2 dozen others. Last August, a jury convicted Hasan of 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.

He was sentenced to death.

CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Western New York soldier among among those injured at Fort Hood
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Our Brian Dwyer spoke with North Country Congressman Bill Owens on the events at Fort Hood.

Wednesday's tragic shooting on Fort Hood will have a long lasting effect on installations across the country including Fort Drum.

And while tragedies like this can never really be prevented, Congress will likely be discussing how it can make sure soldiers are getting proper mental health care on posts

From his office in Washington, North Country Congressman Bill Owens told us right now Fort Drum has an inadequate number of mental health professionals and suspects Fort Hood to be in the same boat.

During a video chat he said there needs to be funding to correct these deficiencies. He says it would help not only the soldiers in trouble, but also teach fellow soldiers, family and friends what warning signs to be looking out for.

"This is like almost all health care issues. The best medicine is the preventive medicine. We need to look at it that way. This is just another piece of the health care puzzle. We need to make sure we're doing all we can to prevent these kinds of tragedies," said Rep Bill Owens, (D) 21st Congressional District.

Owens says he'll also talk with Fort Drum Command to make sure the post has all it needs to be prepared to respond to events like this in a timely and proper manner.

President Obama on Fort Hood:

"I just got off the phone with the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get the latest on the shooting at Fort Hood. Obviously, we’re all following it closely. The situation is fluid right now, but my national security team in close contact not just with Defense Department, but with the FBI. They are working with folks on ground to determine exactly what happened and ensure that everyone is secure. Want to assure all of us, we going to get to bottom of what happened. Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopened pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families, we know the service to their country and the sacrifices that they make. Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community and we are going to do everything we can to make the community of Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with a tough situation, but also any potential aftermath. We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. I don’t what on the comment on facts until we know exactly what happened. But just for now I would hope that everyone across the country keep the families of Fort Hood in our thoughts and our prayers. The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, they served with distinction. At their home base they need to feel safe. We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. We need to find out exactly what happened."

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