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Doctor optimistic no more Fort Hood fatalities

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:19 p.m. CDT

TEMPLE, Texas (AP) — A hospital official expressed optimism Thursday that nobody else would die from injuries following a shooting at Fort Hood that left four dead, including the gunman, and 16 others wounded.

Dr. Matthew Davis, trauma director at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, where three critically wounded military personnel were being treated, said none were expected to die from their injuries. The Central Texas hospital also was treating two patients listed in fair condition and four listed in good condition.

Scott & White is the only trauma center in the area, and authorities said any patients with life-threatening injuries likely would be sent there. They had no information Thursday about the extent of the injuries to patients being treated elsewhere, including at a hospital on the base.

"In terms of life-threatening events, right now I feel pretty good about our patients," Davis said at a news conference. "But we still have some time to go before I'm going to declare them completely out of the woods."

Davis also said "several" of the victims at the hospital about 65 miles northeast of Austin will be discharged Thursday. He did not say how many will be discharged. He described them as in "good spirits."

One of the wounded was identified as Maj. Patrick Miller, a 32-year-old Iraq War veteran from western New York, the state's Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. Miller, who lives with his wife outside Austin, Texas, is a native of Allegany in Cattaraugus County. Information on his condition hasn't been released.

Efforts to contact Miller's family members by phone and email on Thursday weren't initially successful. His parents, Carole and Dr. John Miller, were en route to Texas Thursday, according to local media reports.

Miller's Facebook page said he was a twice-deployed Iraq veteran who graduated from his hometown college, St. Bonaventure University, in 2003 and earned masters' degrees in business and public administration from Syracuse University in 2009. He was also enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps while at St. Bonaventure, a private Catholic school near the Pennsylvania border.

Dr. Alexander Thompson, chairman of the psychiatry department at Scott & White Memorial, said it can be a lengthy process to treat victims of Wednesday's shooting who may have previously seen combat duty.

"Many of them have come back and had combat experience," Thompson said. "You imagine them getting into a safe place and seeing family and now having this kind of violence brought about their home. The likelihood that somebody would have a difficult emotional response to that is high."

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