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Listen: The Day of the Fort Hood Shooting - And Years of Aftermath

KUT News

It’s been more than three years since a gunman walked into a military processing center at Fort Hood – about an hour north of Austin – and began shooting people at point blank range. Thirteen people were killed and more than thirty were wounded. After years of delays, the trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan begins today with jury selection.

KUT takes a look back at the events that led to this moment – beginning with the initial attack.

The shooting happened on Thursday, November 5, 2009. Around 1:30 in the afternoon, soldiers at Fort Hood were in a readiness center, doing paperwork, receiving health assessments, and getting ready to leave their families for war – but then someone walked into the room and brought the war to them.

Private first class Marquest Smith was sitting in a cubicle nearby going over some medical paperwork.

“When I heard the gunshots,” he said, “it didn’t sound like gunshots. It sounded like popcorn being popped in the microwave.”

In a few minutes, the shooter fired more than 200 rounds from an FN Five-Seven equipped with two laser sights, according to witness testimony. He wasn’t stopped until he left the solider readiness center and engaged in a firefight with two police officers. 

Listen in the audio player above for more, including:

  • Initial confusion over whether Hasan was killed in the shooting
  • President Obama’s visit to Fort Hood
  • Questions over whether officials missed warning signs about Hasan, and
  • How one Fort Hood family has tried to understand the tragedy
Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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