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Hasan at Fort Hood Trial: 'I Am the Shooter'

Brigitte Woosley

Update: Testimony is underway in the Maj. Nidal Hasan case. Eight witnesses have testified so far, including employees at Guns Galore, a local gun shop where Hasan purchased ammunition and weapons.

Fredrick Brennan, one of the employees at Guns Galore, said Hasan regularly purchased 200 to 300 rounds of ammunition for shooting practice.

Hasan’s neighbor in 2009, Patricia Billa, said the day before the shooting, Hasan gave her a variety of items from his home, including an air mattress, shelves, and some clothes. Billa said Hasan asked her to clean his apartment Friday, November 6 – the day after the shooting.

Tracy Holm, a member of the FBI evidence response team, said when the team went to Hasan’s apartment they met Billa, who also showed them a paper copy of an email stating Hasan was to be deployed to Afghanistan at the end of the month.

Before lunch, Hasan only cross-examined two of the witnesses, including, Ben Phillips, chief of Behavioral Health at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. In 2009, Phillips was the officer in charge of Hasan’s Officer Evaluation Report, the report used to evaluate officers in order to promote them in the army.

Hasan tried to ask Phillips questions beyond the scope of the prosecutions scope of examination, and was denied. He can call Phillips back for separate questioning at a later time, if he desires. Four more witnesses are expected to testify today.

Original post (12:02 p.m.):  More than three-and-a-half years later, the court martial of the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood is underway.

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan’s opening statements lasted less than two minutes – shorter than the length of the shooting rampage that occurred on November 5, 2009. “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter,” he said. “There have been many mistakes. We the Mujahideen (holy warriors) are imperfect Muslims trying to establish a perfect religion in the land of supreme God.”

On the other side, Prosecutor Col. Steve Hendricks’ opening statement lasted nearly an hour. Hendricks detailed Hasan’s every movement step-by-step during the shooting, and leading up to the massacre. Hendricks agreed that the evidence will show Hasan was the shooter. He also said that the shooting was premeditated and Hasan targeted only soldiers in uniform. The first witness called was the manager of a local gun store, Guns Galore.

Maj. Hasan is representing himself in the trial, which means he could question survivors who testify. Hasan faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The trial is expected to take months. 

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