Fort Hood Shooting: Major Nidal Hasan Guilty

August 23rd, 20139:15 pm @


Major Nidal Hasan has been found guilty of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others at the Fort Hood military base.

The army psychiatrist could face the death penalty after military jurors reached unanimous verdicts on 13 counts of premeditated murder and also found him guilty of 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder.

Hasan gave no visible reaction as the verdict was read out.

The jury will begin hearing the “penalty phase” of the court martial on Monday and make a recommendation to the judge, who will determine the sentence.

If the death penalty is approved, Hasan would face death by lethal injection for the 2009 shooting spree on the Texas base.

The 42-year-old defended himself during the 13-day trial but chose not to call witnesses or testify and questioned only three of prosecutors’ nearly 90 witnesses.

In statements to the judge the American-born Muslim suggested that he believed the attack was justified as a jihad against the US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Kim Munley, who helped take down Hasan, tweeted her “joy” at the verdict

Sergeant Kim Munley, a member of Fort Hood’s SWAT team who was shot three times as she took down the shooter, tweeted her delight at the verdict.

She wrote: “So overwhelmed with joy and tears!!!! I sure hope those 14 angels and dancing with joy from above!!! God Bless the victims in their strength.”

Hasan never denied opening fire in a crowded waiting room at Fort Hood, where unarmed troops were making final preparations to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.

All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby’s life.

The sentencing phase is expected to begin with more testimony from survivors of the attack in a medical center where soldiers were waiting in long lines for immunizations and medical clearance.

About 50 soldiers and civilians testified of hearing someone scream “Allahu akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great!” – and seeing a man in Army camouflage open fire.

Hasan, pictured in his uniform, carefully planned the attack at Fort Hood

Many identified Hasan as the shooter and recalled his handgun’s red and green laser sights piercing a room made dark with gun smoke.

Hasan spent weeks planning the November 5, 2009, attack. His preparation included buying the handgun and videotaping a sales clerk showing him how to change the magazine.

He later offered $10 at a gun range outside Austin for pointers on how to reload with speed and precision.

An instructor said he told Hasan to practise while watching TV or sitting on his couch with the lights off.

Soldiers testified that Hasan’s rapid reloading made it all but impossible to stop the shooting.

Investigators recovered 146 shell casings inside the medical building and dozens more outside, where Hasan shot at the backs of soldiers fleeing toward the parking lot.

The military’s death row has just five other prisoners and no other soldier has been executed since 1961.

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