The U.S. Army's Chief of Staff says he is concerned about speculation regarding the Muslim faith of the man who allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at a U.S. military base.
General George Casey said in an interview Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that focusing on the Islamic faith of the suspected shooter, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, could increase the backlash against all Muslims in the U.S. military.
General Casey said it would be a shame if the diversity of the U.S. army is a casualty of the incident as well.
Investigators are working to uncover a motive for Hasan's shooting rampage Thursday at Fort Hood, Texas.
Authorities say Hasan fired a semi-automatic weapon and another gun at soldiers and civilians, before he was shot and wounded by a civilian police officer.
The Army said Saturday night Hasan was taken off a ventilator but remains in intensive care.
In Washington, the White House says President and Mrs. Obama will travel to Fort Hood Tuesday for a memorial service for the victims.
In his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama called the rampage "heartbreaking," and praised the "valor" and "selflessness" of the soldiers who rushed to stop the killing and aid the wounded.
The president also ordered flags at the White House and other federal buildings flown at half-staff until November 11.
Hasan is a 39-year-old psychiatrist who specialized in trauma counseling. Reports say he was about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
Some of Hasan's friends have told reporters he was concerned about the pending deployment and expressed opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There also are reports he complained about being teased by fellow soldiers because of his Muslim faith, wanted to get out of the Army, and received at least one less-than-excellent performance evaluation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.