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Witnesses describe Fort Hood horror

Oct. 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM   |   Comments

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FORT HOOD, Texas, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Witnesses at a military hearing on whether Army Maj. Nidal Hasan will be tried for the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, compared the scene to a horror movie.

Testimony resumed Thursday in the Article 32 hearing, which will determine whether Hasan, accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others last November, will be court-martialed and face a possible death penalty.

Staff Sgt. Paul Martin testified Thursday he tried to play dead after he was shot in the arm. But when he was shot again in the leg, Martin said, "I got to get out of the building. I won't survive if I stay," the Austin American-Statesman reported. Martin said he ran for the door and was shot in the back and "hit the floor like a rock." Moments later he was able to regain his footing and flee the building.

Spc. Alan Carroll, who was shot in the leg and back, testified Thursday via video link from Afghanistan, saying the shooting was "continuous" and "non-stop." He told the hearing he quit seeing a counselor before going to Afghanistan, adding, "I just want to forget about it."

U.S. Army Col. James Pohl, the investigating officer, began Wednesday's proceeding by denying a defense request for a delay, the San Antonio Express-News reported. Pohl, who will advise commanders if they should order a court-martial, didn't explain what the request was for.

During his testimony, Army Reserve Spc. James Armstrong said Hasan fired "as fast as someone can pull a trigger" and that he saw Hasan withdraw a magazine from the left cargo pocket of his camouflage uniform.

Asked to describe the scene, Armstrong said it was the "worst horror movie you could ever see. … There were bloody handprints on the walls from people trying to get up."

Witnesses testified Hasan, an Army psychiatrist scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, targeted soldiers waiting to see physicians for their final medical clearance before deploying or returning from war, the American-Statesman reported. Several witnesses heard Hasan shout "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") before firing dozens of rounds at the victims.

Hasan, 40, faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. Attorneys are expected to call dozens of victims, first responders and witnesses in the next five weeks.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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