Weather Forecast


Bemidji High School graduate wounded in Fort Hood attack

BELCOURT, N.D. -- A Belcourt man says his son, who has been dealing with mental stress after deployments to Iraq, is recovering from wounds in Thursday's shooting spree at a Texas Army base.

Patrick Blue III, 23, a sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Fort Hood, was in another room with an officer when they heard shots and rushed to the scene, said his father, Patrick Blue Jr., of Belcourt. The younger Blue was wounded in the side by bullet fragments, his father said.

KFYR-TV of Bismarck, N.D., reported that Blue is a Bemidji High School graduate, although he was born and raised in Belcourt.

In 2003, Blue graduated from Bemidji High School and decided to enlist into the U.S. Army, the television station reported.

"I thought it would be a good career choice," said Blue.

Authorities say an Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, went on a rampage that left 13 dead and 29 wounded.

The elder Blue said his son was treated and was back in his apartment on the base Friday night.

"He was one of the luckier ones, and just caught a few fragments," he said. "He called me from the hospital."

Patrick Blue Jr., said his son has been deployed twice to Iraq and has been in therapy to deal with mental trauma after returning from his most recent, 17-month deployment.

"It's been really hard on him," the elder Blue said. He said his son suffered nightmares while home recently and "wakes up screaming and hollering."

His son had seen Hasan at the base but did not know him well, Patrick Blue Jr., said. Still, it was a shock to learn that an Army psychiatrist, "the guy that was supposed to be helping," is accused of being the shooter, he said.

"He's pretty well shook up," Patrick Blue Jr., said of his son. "He doesn't know what to think about even going back to therapy."

Of the incident, Blue III said, "I was surprised, I didn't see it coming." He told the television station he tried to help when shots rang out.

"I was trying to help direct traffic, I didn't realize I was wounded," he said. Fragments of one of the bullets hit his left side and he received 11 stitches.