Accused Ft. Hood Gunman May Be Paralyzed: Lawyer

Hasan has no feeling in his legs

By ANGELA K. BROWN
|  Friday, Nov 13, 2009  |  Updated 11:16 AM EDT
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Accused Ft. Hood Gunman May Be Paralyzed: Lawyer

AP

The 2007 picture provided by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences shows Nidal Malik Hasan when he entered the program for his Disaster and Military Psychiatry Fellowship.

The Army psychiatrist with D.C.-area ties who is accused in the fatal shootings at Fort Hood may be paralyzed from the waist down after being shot multiple times during the attack, his attorney told The Associated Press on Friday.

Civilian attorney John Galligan said Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan told him that he had no feeling in his legs and extreme pain in his hands. Hasan, who was shot four times by civilian police officers, said doctors told him the condition may never improve.

Galligan said he spoke with Hasan for about an hour in the intensive care unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Thursday, the same day Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder. The attack at the sprawling Texas post last week also left 29 people wounded.  Maj. L. Eduardo Caraveo, a Woodbridge, Va., clinical psychologist, and Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, of Havre De Grace, Md., were among the victims.

Maj. L. Eduardo Caraveo was one of three people in his unit allegedly killed by lone gunman, Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan. Seven others were injured.

Galligan said that his client's medical condition remains "extremely serious" and that Hasan didn't flinch when Galligan touched his leg. One of Hasan's relatives was able to see him Thursday for the first time since he was hospitalized.

Hasan studied, lived, worked and practiced his Muslim faith for years in the Washington, D.C., area. A Falls Church, Va., mosque, where Hasan's family attended, has condemned a former imam's praise of the Fort Hood shootings. Hasan's mother's funeral was held at the Falls Church mosque on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times, around the same time two 9/11 hijackers worshipped at the mosque and while Anwar al Awlaki, a radical American imam, was preaching.

Galligan said military prosecutors have not told him whether they plan to seek the death penalty, but he plans to file motions asking for a second military defense attorney and a civilian investigator to help with the case.

Army officials have said they believe Hasan acted alone when he jumped on a table with two handguns, shouted "Allahu akbar" and opened fire inside a building at Fort Hood. The 13 people killed included a pregnant soldier and at least three other mental health professionals.

Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey has said Hasan could face additional charges. It had not been decided whether to charge Hasan with the death of the soldier's unborn child, officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

Galligan said he wasn't pleased that Hasan was charged in the hospital without his lawyers present.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has ordered a review to determine whether warning signs were mishandled of contact between Hasan and the radical Islamic cleric who encouraged Muslims to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.

Obama said Thursday that he wanted all intelligence related to Hasan preserved and reviewed to determine whether it was properly shared and acted upon within the government. Members of Congress also are pressing for a full investigation into why Hasan was not detected and stopped.

A joint terrorism task force overseen by the FBI learned late last year of Hasan's repeated contact with the cleric. The FBI said the task force did not refer early information about Hasan to superiors because it concluded he wasn't linked to terrorism.

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