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. Numbaoneballa

    Islam is Satan

    October 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kirk

    we can end this with one more bullet. To much media, is their really a question of guilt here . To much fanfare kill this guy soon and i bet gen. Wont save him. God will be the real judge. Gen. Why stand up for a murderer? Do you truly doubt his guilt?

    October 14, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bless

    God bless you and I will pray for your full recovery.ap learn grammar,proof read, he came back from iraq,not "to".this why we hate muslims or islam.people get mad,ladies walk out from the "view"o'reilly right muslims killed us in 9\11 and fort hood.

    October 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bless

    He should rot in a dark cell with no tv,quran or books.vote obama out another muslim.kick out all the muslims in usa.his mosque should be investigated for terrorism.

    October 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Whatever

    I hope and yes pray for the people involved with this horrible tragedy. As for this evil, evil murderer – I have nothing for him but disgust.

    October 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |

    Hey, uh, Mehdi General Dr Bad, is this how you spend your computer time in the psych ward?

    October 15, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vietnam Vet USNBMC

    Why is this terroist allowed a trail? No place else in the world would he be allowed to. I doubt he even appreciates that fact. He killed some of the best men and women in our country. Thank God for all the young people committed to defending our nation. Do them and us the honor of a public hanging.
    My Father, Father-in-law,my two older brothers and my son answered our country's call in war and in peace.
    This "person" ! Don't waste the cost of a single round. I'll give them the rope!!!!

    October 15, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. hoss

    Dr bad you have no troops, no brain, and no education. what are you 3. and you should be the next one on the end of a rope.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. kirk

    leave the good gen. Alone, if not for him we would never now the truth! He sounds like hes back on his meds. Best mood ive heard him in. Ive listened to your trashing of my govt. About cover ups, yet ive learned nothing from you i havent already heard. War is hel. I still dont kknow who' s side your on. This guy will die period!!! Hes not the good guy here. Skip the trial, we'd all like that but we will give him his right to a trial... Then put him down. I only wish ol' sparky was still used.

    October 15, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. kirk

    this man places all muslims in a bad light, thats just how it is. As long as we waste our tax dollars in the name of p.c. Were tying our hands behind our backs, and getting our asses kicked in the mean time. Wake up america, realitys coming. We cant afford to be pol. Correct anymore. Get him a court appointed attorney. Thats all he deserves. And only cause its how we became the great country we are. God will punch his ticket home . None too soon though

    October 15, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    for some odd reason you do not get i am done wating .
    Go Arrest Glen Beck.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    and if you work for time warner or cnn or any afillate. your now fuked.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    get your ass up. get out of My business. do not take anything. and i am going to do full audit and inventroy.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    go aresst and lock out rupert murdoch and roger ayles. now.

    October 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Mehdi General Dr Bad
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    your done hiding behind " National Secrrets".

    October 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
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