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Fort Hood soldier describes horrific scene to family in Utah

By John Daley | Posted - Nov. 5, 2009 at 10:00 p.m.



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NORTHERN UTAH -- The news of the mass shooting at Fort Hood Thursday hit close to home for some Utahns. One man says his daughter heard the shooter exclaim "Allah Akbar" as he opened fire.

We want to stress that no government or military officials are reporting that and there is no way for us to independently confirm that it is true.

The family from northern Utah agreed to talk to us, on the condition we not identify them and blur out some photos they've supplied, because they're worried their daughter could get in trouble with her superiors for making public what she told her family she saw.

The soldier's father says his daughter was at Fort Hood Thursday when the shooting happened, and she called him, frantic and upset, soon after.

"She said, ‘Dad, I'm OK. Don't worry, I'm OK.' And initially I said, ‘What are you talking about?' She said, ‘Haven't you heard?' And I said, ‘No.' And she said, ‘We've been attacked by terrorists,'" the father explained.

He told KSL News soldiers were sitting in a staging area for medical and dental checks when the group was startled by gunfire.

"A person behind counter stood up, and he said, ‘Allah Akbar!' And just opened up on everybody," the father told us.

Again, that's what the man tells us his daughter said, but no one else is saying that and we cannot confirm whether it's true. He, himself a military veteran, says at first his daughter thought it was some sort of drill but quickly discovered it wasn't.

"It was within a second or two she realized it was real because the person right next to her was shot and killed instantly," he said.

The man says his daughter immediately fell to the ground and played dead. He says he contacted KSL because he thought people should know what happened there.

It was a difficult day too for Bev Haws, in Sandy. Her son Timothy, a staff sergeant at Fort Hood, has been to Iraq twice and is getting deployed again soon. She says she too was shaken when she heard the news and talked to her son.

"Terrified. It's like having him in Iraq when you have something like this happen. You hear something happens, and you know where he's at, and it scares you," Haws said.

Obviously, there are many more questions than answers. No doubt we can expect to learn a lot more in the coming days about the man who the military says fired those fatal shots.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com

John Daley

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