The fifth day in the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan opened Monday with the testimony of a nurse who called 911 on the day of the shooting.

Shemeka Hairston cried as the prosecution played the 911 recording for the courtroom.

From the local Killeen Daily Herald:

“Oh God, help me,” Hairston said as the operator repeatedly asked her the location of the shooting.


Hairston cried as the prosecution played an audio recording of the call. She later told the jury at one point she opened her eyes and saw a soldier stand up during a pause in the gunshots.

“His eyes got big and he fell,” she told the court.

Hairston’s sobs could be heard in a hallway outside of the courtroom after her testimony ended. She was the first of 10 witnesses that have testified so far today.

Hairston’s testimony was followed by at least thirteen other witnesses throughout the day, including that of retired Lt. Col. Randy Lee Royer, who was also shot on that day.

Another witness who testified, army social worker Capt. Dorothy Ellen Carskadon, told the court she thought the November 2009 shooting was a training exercise, according to CNN.

Carskadon said she heard Pvt. Francheska Velez screaming “my baby, my baby” as she cradled her stomach. She crawled to Velez and tried to comfort her, telling the private that it would be OK and that the training exercise would end soon. Velez died in the attack.

Carskadon noticed blood dripping from her own head and tried to stand, but her leg went numb. As she fell, she was shot in the stomach. She collapsed and thought to herself, “I’m through with this field exercise and I chose not to move anymore.”

She awoke in a hospital intensive care unit with four gunshot wounds: one that grazed her head; another through her right hip; a third lodged in her right leg; and a fourth in the abdomen.

Hasan, who is representing himself, has so far only cross examined two witnesses since the start of the trial, neither of them soldiers injured by his gunshots.

From the Associated Press (via Huffington Post):

But so far, Hasan has said little in his defense. The Army psychiatrist mostly watched in silence as more than 40 witnesses testified during the trial’s opening days last week, and he questioned none of the witnesses who testified Monday morning.

Many of them have been soldiers wounded in the attack who identified Hasan as the shooter. But Hasan has questioned none of them and many finished testifying in 20 minutes or less.


Hasan has questioned just two witnesses so far – his former supervisor and a member of the local mosque he last attended the morning of the shooting. He has raised about the same number of brief objections as witnesses described a chaotic, bloody scene the day of the shooting.

The trial has moved rather quickly, so much so that the judge has given jurors time to take notes in between witnesses.  That’s a departure from the rocky start last week when Hasan’s standby defense counsel requested to either be reinstated as official counsel or be removed from the case entirely.  Hasan has already admitted to the shootings, both in his opening statements and in written documents.  His standby counsel maintained that their client was arguing for his own death sentence, but the judge disagreed and ultimately denied the defense team’s request.

You can follow local news coverage of the trial daily via this Twitter list.


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