The Ottumwa Courier

August 16, 2013

Soldier shot 12 times during Fort Hood rampage

MICHAEL GRACZYK NOMAAN MERCHANT
Associated Press

---- — FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — One of the soldiers killed during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood suffered a dozen gunshot wounds that indicate he was trying to charge the gunman, while another victim was pregnant, medical experts testified Thursday.

The two were among 13 people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a crowded medical building at the sprawling Army post in Texas on Nov. 5, 2009. The accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, also is accused of wounding more than 30 people as he stands trial for the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.

The bullet wounds that riddled Spc. Frederick Greene's body were "consistent" with him trying to charge his attacker, Lt. Col. Phillip Berran testified. The pathologist had reviewed photos of Greene's body for the judge before jurors were led into the courtroom at Fort Hood.

Another victim, Pvt. Francheska Velez, was shot once by a bullet that fractured her rib and went through her heart and right lung — a wound that wasn't survivable, said pathologist Col. AbuBakr Marzouk.

When asked if the 21-year-old Chicago woman had any other significant medical conditions, Marzouk replied: "She was pregnant."

Witnesses testified earlier in the trial that they would hear Velez crying out, "My baby! My baby!" during the shootings.

Berran also described how Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, who was shot three times, was likely shot while lying on the ground. That means at least five victims were shot while lying down, according to testimony from several pathologists this week.

Hasan — who is acting as his own attorney — raised no objections and didn't question any of the witnesses Thursday, which has largely been his strategy since the trial began last week. The Army psychiatrist's lack of defense so far has allowed prosecutors to call more than 70 witnesses, indicating that the trial could wrap up far sooner than the months-long timeline originally announced by the judge.

The military defense attorneys who have been ordered to help Hasan during the trial have accused Hasan of trying to convince jurors to convict him and sentence him to death. Hasan has disputed those claims, calling them a twist of the facts.

But he recently authorized the release of a report that shows he told military mental health experts after the attack that he "would still be a martyr" if he were convicted and executed by the government. The report was released by Hasan's civil attorney to the New York Times, which posted it online, but prosecutors were ordered by the judge not to read it.

If convicted, Hasan could face the death penalty.