Spc. Ryan Howard of Niles, Mich., right and Spc. David Straub of Ardmore, Okla. wait for news of fellow soldiers while at the gate of the Army base after the shooting.
A San Diego native, Army Specialist Lauren Thompson lived most of her life in Escondido. The 21-year old is stationed at Fort Hood and lives with her 6-month old son. She was nearby when a gunman went on a shooting rampage, killing 13 people and wounding dozens more.
When Thompson's mother heard about the shooting, she immediately sent text messages to her daughter.
"I was very panicky," said Heather Thompson of Murrieta. "I just wanted to make sure she was still alive, you just never know."
Heather was also worried about her new grandchild, Aiden. The nervous anticipation got more intense after she found out where the shooting happened. "Right across the street from Lauren's office in the administrative building," she said.
Finally after several anxious minutes of waiting, Heather got a call from Lauren that she was unhurt. "She said she did not hear the gunshots, which amazes me because they were right outside her building, literally across the road," Heather said.
Lauren told her mother that everyone in her building was evacuated to a nearby gym and put in lockdown. Lauren's son Aiden was safe at a babysitter's home during the shooting.
Heather is grateful her daughter and grandson are alive, but feels enormous sadness for the families who lost loved ones.
"It's so disheartening, so sad," Heather said.
Military officials were starting Friday to piece together what may have pushed an Army psychiatrist trained to help soldiers in distress to turn on his comrades, MSNBC reported.
The suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was on a ventilator and unconscious in a hospital after being shot four times during the shootings at the Army's sprawling Fort Hood, post officials said. In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived.