Exclusive: Fort Hood soldier speaks

GERMANTOWN - November 5, 2009

RELATED SLIDESHOW: Pictures from the scene and reaction

"As soon as I heard there were 7 dead, immediately, my heart just sank," Nancy DeJesus said.

It's the same feeling Nancy DeJesus felt on a daily basis when her son, Specialist Steven Pena, served three tours in Iraq.

DeJesus got the call around 2:00 p.m. from her son's wife.

'"Mom turn the TV on, turn the TV on, put CNN on.' I did. There was breaking news. I said 'where's Steven?' She said 'he's in there, he's in there,'" Nancy said.

She frantically tried to call her son. After repeated attempts, she finally got through.

"He said 'Mom', I said 'Steven' and I just cried, I just cried. I said 'What's going on here? You're home,'" Nancy said.

DeJesus could hear sirens blaring in the background. That and the nervousness in her son's voice only made the situation worse.

"I said 'Steven, they're looking for two suspects. They're saying there is three, maybe two. I don't really know what's going on.' He goes 'Fill me in, I don't know what's going on, fill me in,'" Nancy said.

She told Steven the gunman had opened fire at a soldier readiness center and the base theater.

"He goes 'That's the building next to mine. I'm right next to that building.' I said 'Trust no one. Please, trust no one'. He goes 'I know mom, it's okay, it's alright,'" Nancy said.

After our interview, Nancy called Steven again.

More than 6 hours after what is believed to be the worst mass shooting at a military base, Steven still had few details and remained on lockdown. He was able to take a few questions.

We asked him how he was doing, he replied, "I'm doing fine, just worried about...my prayers go out to the families of those killed."

We asked Spec. Pena if he knew the shooting suspect Major Nidal Malik Hasan. He responded, "I don't believe so. Personally, myself, I am seeing a psychiatrist, but I don't recall seeing him. I may have passed by him, but I don't know him personally."

Nancy DeJesus is praying her son is as fortunate in the future. Spec. Pena is expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

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