October 14th, 2010
09:20 PM ET

Fort Hood hearing: Victim describes shot to the head

The Army psychiatrist accused in last year's Fort Hood, Texas, shootings faced off with the most severely injured survivor Thursday in a small military courtroom.

Maj. Nidal Hasan looked down as Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler described his four bullet wounds and how part of his brain had to be removed because of skull and bullet fragments.

Zeigler, using a cane, walked slowly to the witness stand at Fort Hood for the last testimony of the day in an evidentiary hearing, which is expected to last for weeks. Hasan is accused of being the gunman in the November 5 shootings that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.

Zeigler testified he heard the gunman shout out "Allahu Akbar" just before the firing began.

"After I heard that, I pretty much froze up because I knew what that meant," said Zeigler about the phrase, which is Arabic for "God is great."

Other witnesses have identified Hasan as the gunman who shouted out in a crowd of soldiers and opened fire. The Army colonel overseeing the Article 32 hearing will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a court martial with a possible penalty of death.

Zeigler said that moments before he was shot the first time, a beam - coming from the laser mounted on the handgun - crossed his vision.

"It felt like somebody hit me in the side of the head with a metal baseball bat," Zeigler said about the impact of the bullet.

Zeigler had just come back from his second deployment to Iraq and was bound for Officer Candidate School. His injuries from the Fort Hood shootings were so severe he was not expected to survive and was sometimes referred to as the 14th fatality.

His fiancee, Jessica Hansen, was in the courtroom as she has been at his side for 10 months of hospitalization, multiple operations and almost daily physical therapy.

"I basically knew I was in serious trouble," Zeigler said about the seconds after his shooting. "There was a pool of my own blood in front of me."

Zeigler was shot four times, in the right side of his head, left shoulder, left forearm and left hip. More than 18 percent of his brain was removed, he said. And he has fought back from partial paralysis.

Hasan remains partially paralyzed himself and is brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair. He was shot four times by police who rushed to the scene.

After Zeigler's testimony, people in the courtroom and journalists watching a video feed from a remote press room could hear the steady tap-tap of Zeigler's cane as he slowly made his way out.

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Filed under: Fort Hood shooting • Military • Terrorism • Texas
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    ehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Keep Stalling and Hiding Obama pig. Clinton Pigs.
    YOUR Fuked.
    Next.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    interc0pted messages.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I Do NOT ANSWER TO YOU.
    I OWN YOUR FUKING ASS.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    now im going to stop being Nice you pig fukers.
    YOU expalin why.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    maybe that fuking gash between your legs will save you.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fuking Pigs.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    intercept more message c.u.n.t.s.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. confused

    I know after 9-11 alot of people belive that the muslim religon is evil... However if it was there would be more attacks... 98% of the muslims in the usa do not agree with the extremist... There is extreamist in all types of people. Remember timothy mcveigh who not only killed multiple adults but those children also and he was born and raised in usa... Please think about what u write before u write it.... There are crazy people from every religon, race,country!

    October 15, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. John Aldrich

    I dicuss this incident a little bit more in detail on my personal blog. check it out here, http://www.thesoldierdiaries.com

    If you like what you read, feel free to subscribe, I usually post daily about a variety of differnet military topics.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Amber

    THANK YOU SSG Zeigler. I have seen first hand the miracle you are. Keep walking tall!
    -Amber :)

    October 16, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
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