Fort Hood Witnesses Recount Mass Shooting

By Ken Kalthoff, Nomaan Merchant and Paul J. Weber
|  Friday, Aug 9, 2013  |  Updated 1:11 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Lawyer Says Hasan Intent on Getting Death Sentence

Brigitte Woosley

Photos and Videos

Emotional Testimony in Fort Hood Shooting Suspect Trial

The judge ordered Maj. Nidal Hasan's lawyers to stay on the case even though they say Hasan is acting as his own lawyer and trying to get the death penalty.

Witnesses Testify, Recount Fort Hood Mass Shooting

The Fort Hood trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan resumed Thursday with emotional testimony from witnesses and victims of the Nov., 2009 mass shooting.
More Photos and Videos

The Fort Hood trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan resumed Thursday with emotional testimony from witnesses and victims of the Nov., 2009 mass shooting.
 
Staff Sgt. Maria Guerra said she watched as Hasan shot down soldiers, hid as the shooting continued, then came out of hiding to treat the wounded.

  “I see bodies. I see bodies every where, and I see blood,” Guerra tearfully said.
 
She said she placed covers over the heads of the dead so medics could treat those still living.
 
“I yelled, ‘If you can walk, if you can run, get up, get out of the building.’  And it was just a rush of soldiers, civilians,” Guerra said.
 
Two witnesses were among those wounded in the attack. 
 
Sgt. Alan Carroll identified Hasan as the shooter and said he heard a shout of "Allah Akbar" before a sound he recalled thinking was a pop gun.
 
Carroll said he then felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and realized he'd been hit by a real bullet. He said he was shot three more times while trying to help another soldier who did not survive.
 
On the witnesses stand, Carroll identified photos of three people who were with him that day who he has not seen since.
 
Asked why he said, "They passed away, Sir."
 
Staff Sgt. Michael Davis said he was shot once in the back but eventually ran out of the building and jumped into a passing truck, asking the driver to get him to the hospital. 
 
As the shots rang out, Davis said he heard a woman sceaming, "My baby, my baby, my baby."
 
The woman was Pvt. Francheska Velez, of Chicago, who was killed in the attack. Velez was three months pregnant at the time after a recent R&R visit.
 
Hasan, acting as his own attorney, has not asked questions of any witnesses on Thursday. 

This story is still developing, as is the ongoing court martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. Follow @NBCDFW and @KenKalthoffNBC5 for the latest updates.

Fort Hood Trial Resumes as Lawyers Demand Removal

A military judge resumed the Fort Hood shooting trial on Thursday despite demands from the suspect's standby attorneys that they be removed from the case.

The military defense lawyers ordered to help Maj. Nidal Hasan represent himself during his murder trial had asked to take over the case Wednesday, saying they believed Hasan was trying to secure himself a death sentence.

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, denied that request Thursday, saying it was clear the lawyers simply disagreed with Hasan's defense strategy. But the attorneys were adamant and said they would appeal to a higher court.

"We believe your order is causing us to violate our rules of professional conduct," Lt. Col. Kris Poppe told the judge.

Osborn briefly recessed the trial, but the hearing later resumed and jurors were allowed in after the standby attorneys were told to continue in their current duties.

Poppe had told the judge that if Hasan were allowed to continue on his own, they wanted their roles minimized so Hasan couldn't ask them for help with a strategy they oppose. They said they couldn't watch Hasan fulfill a death wish.

"It becomes clear his goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty," Poppe told the judge on Wednesday. That strategy, he argued, "is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations."

Hasan gave a brief opening statement during the trial's first day Tuesday that included claiming responsibility for the attack that killed 13 people at the Texas military post. He posed no questions to most witnesses and rarely spoke. On one of the few times he did talk, it was to get on the record that the alleged murder weapon was his -- even though no one had asked.

Sometimes he took notes, but he mostly looked forward impassively.

The prosecutor, Col. Michael Mulligan, defended Hasan's strategy, saying Thursday that it would have been "absurd" for Hasan to contest the facts of what happened the day of the attack in November 2009.

Mulligan said Hasan appeared to be taking on a "tried and true" defense strategy of not contesting the facts but rather offering an alternative reason about why they occurred.

"I'm really perplexed as to how it's caused such a moral dilemma," Mulligan told the judge.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
NBC4's Camp4Kids
NBC4 launched Camp4Kids in 1993,... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out