Fort Hood Shooting Trial Finally Begins
FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM) - Testimony is underway in the court martial of Nidal Hasan. The Army Major is accused of going on a rampage at his post in Fort Hood killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 31 others.
During opening statements this morning, prosecutors told the panel of military officers that will decide Hasan’s fate that “the evidence will show Major Nidal Hasan was that lone gunman.”
Prosecutor Col. Steve Hendricks also told the panel that the evidence will show that Hasan’s plans were to “kill as many soldiers as he could.”
The gruesome crime scene was described in a courtroom only a short distance away on the Army post.
Hasan was inside a deployment center with hundreds of soldiers undergoing vaccinations before heading overseas when he allegedly opened fire with a laser sighted pistol and a 357 revolver.
Prosecutors say Hasan distracted a clerk and blocked an entrance before “opening fire on defenseless soldiers.”
The names of the dead soldiers were read along with where they were shot.
Hasan was eventually wound and paralyzed when confronted by authorities.
Family members of the dead soldiers were in the courtroom when prosecutors revealed that 146 rounds were fired by the Army psychiatrist who was reportedly driven by Islamic extremism.
The computer inside his Killeen apartment was searched and authorities found internet searches for “fatwa” and “suicide bombing” along with a newspaper article titled “A call to jihad.”
The jury panel heard prosecutors claims that Hasan started buying weapons for his mass murder plot months beforehand and shortly after he was assigned to Fort Hood.
Prosecutors say Hasan made a number of purchases at Guns Galore in Killeen and began training to use them.
When Hasan was notified he would soon be sent to Afghanistan in the fall of 2009 he allegedly told a witness, “they’ve got another thing coming if they think they’re going to deploy me.”
Hasan soon began giving away his possessions according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say the morning of the massacre Hasan carefully hid his guns when he arrived on the post.
Prosecutors say the motive for the shooting was that Hasan did not want to deploy and had a jihad duty.
The military is seeking the death penalty in the case. The judge has refused to accept Hasan’s guilty plea which would result in a life sentence.
Hasan, who is representing himself, addressed the panel with “good morning.”
During his brief opening statement, he told the panel, “the evidence will show that I was on the wrong side.”
“We in the Mujahideen are imperfect; I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor.”
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