PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - There are local ties to the shooting that unfolded at Fort Hood in Texas. One of the shooting victims has family in Palm Beach County. More than 1,300 miles away, this tragedy is hitting home.
The family of an injured Army Major did not want to reveal his name, but confirm that their loved one is among the shooting victims.
On Wednesday evening in the hours after the shooting, the family said that the Major had just undergone surgery and was listed in stable condition. They said more surgeries were expected on Thursday.
"I've never experienced anything like this before," said Crystal, the Army Major's sister-in-law, who lives in West Palm Beach. "He's been in the military for over ten years," she said. "He's been stationed at Fort Hood before and this is his second time back. When it's your family, it's different."
Crystal said she was booking an immediate flight to Texas to be with her brother-in-law and her sister.
Meanwhile, a Wellington mother was exchanging frantic text messages with her 21-year-old son who is stationed at Fort Hood. Army Private Robert McCarthy, who grew up in Wellington, was not hurt in Wednesday's shooting according to his mother, Gerry McCarthy.
Ms. McCarthy said her son sent her text messages about gunshots in the parking lot right outside his barracks. Then, she said, his entire base went into lockdown.
"Everyone worries about being deployed and what can happen when you're deployed, but something like this that happens on the post is so terrible," she said. "It's just so unpredictable. It's just such a tragedy."