Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in last week’s deadly shootings at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, was charged Thursday with 13 counts of premeditated murder.
The Army Criminal Investigation Command announced the charges at a Fort Hood press conference Nov. 12. Hasan will be tried in a military court. Prosecutors may seek the death penalty.
Hasan, who was shot during the rampage, is in stable condition and under guard in a San Antonio hospital.
The attack occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5, at the base’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center. Nearly 100 rounds were fired on soldiers who were filling out paperwork and being processed for overseas deployment, resulting in 13 deaths and 43 wounded (according to Fort Hood reports). The shooting is being labeled the worse mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.
The attack was apparently stopped when Hasan was fired upon by two civilian police officers from the base, Sgt. Kimberly Munley and Sgt. Mark Todd.
Although Munley, who is hospitalized with three gunshot wounds, is credited with being a hero in stopping the attack, both sergeants exchanged fire with the suspect.
Hasan’s motives in the shooting are under investigation. Information about his recent activities continues to surface in media reports.
ABC News this week reported on connections between Hasan and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.
Awlaki is suspected by the FBI and U.S. intelligence communities as being a recruiter for al-Qaeda, and is an outspoken jihadist who has called on Muslims to wage war against the United States. His Web site is temporarily offline, but audio of his lectures is online. He condemns the United Sates in at least one of them, "Battle of Hearts and Minds," from Nov. 5, 2008.
The same report stated that hours before a Nov. 10 memorial service, FBI officials visited a mosque in Killeen, Texas, where Hasan prayed, and searched a trash bin outside.