Fort Hood shooter practiced to kill

2010-10-22 08:09

Fort Hood - In the weeks before the deadly Fort Hood rampage, an Army psychiatrist repeatedly visited a firing range to hone his skills with his new laser-equipped semi-automatic handgun by shooting at the heads on silhouette targets, witnesses told a military hearing on Thursday.

Major Nidal Hasan bought an FN 5.7 semi-automatic handgun on August 1, a few weeks after he entered the store and made "an interesting request... for the most high-tech weapon we had," said Fredrick Brannon, a former Guns Galore employee.

He said Hasan seemed to have little knowledge of guns at that point.

The Article 32 hearing will determine whether Hasan will stand trial on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the November 5 rampage at the Texas Army post.

James Pohl, the investigating officer in the case, delayed the hearing after prosecutors finished presenting evidence and set it to resume November 15, when defence attorneys will say whether they'll present any evidence.

They sought the delay so a defence expert can complete a psychiatric evaluation of their American-born Muslim client.

Hasan was shot by police officers during last year's rampage, leaving him paralysed from the chest down. He's been attending the hearing in a wheelchair. Hasan remains jailed, as the military justice system does not have bail.

Concealed handgun class

In court on Thursday, prosecutors showed footage they said Hasan recorded on his cell phone of the gun store manager in nearby Killeen demonstrating how to use the gun - including reloading and cleaning it.

The footage does not show Hasan, but he can be heard saying, "OK," in the background several times as the manager - who did not testify - gave him detailed instructions.

John Choats, part owner of Stan's Outdoor Shooting Range and a certified shooting instructor, said Hasan completed a concealed handgun class on October 10 and purchased a membership at the shooting range in Florence, about 30km south of Killeen.

Hasan returned once or twice a week, doing long-range shooting with an FN 5.7 gun at the rifle range, Choats said.

Hasan chose silhouette targets rather than bullseye targets, aiming at the head and chest from 100 meters away, and began to improve his accuracy, Choats said.

"Most of the time in training it's (aiming for) entirely centre mass, the chest and abdominal (region)," Choats said, when asked by a defence attorney whether he noticed anything unusual about the target practice.

During seven days of testimony, 56 witnesses testified, including more than two dozen soldiers wounded in the rampage in a medical building where soldiers get vaccines and other medical tests before deployment.

Many witnesses said a gunman wearing an Army combat uniform stood near the front door, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" - "God is great!" in Arabic -then opened fired in a crowded waiting area.

He kept firing rapidly, pausing only to reload, and shot people as they hid under tables or curled up in chairs - even shooting soldiers after they fled outside. Investigators found 146 shell casings inside and another 68 outside - and some 177 unused rounds of ammunition in Hasan's pockets after he was shot.

Pohl, the investigating officer in the case, will at some point after the hearing recommend whether Hasan should go to trial, though the decision ultimately will be made by Fort Hood's commanding general.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nidal hasan  |  us  |  fort hood shooting
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.