Police: Soldier escaped military custody, vanished after chase
Pfc. Russell Marcum, 20, is considered armed and dangerous, New York state police say.
September 16th, 2011
05:01 PM ET

Police: Soldier escaped military custody, vanished after chase

State police in central New York are looking for a U.S. soldier who they say escaped military custody at Fort Drum, stole his parents' car and led police on a four-county chase.

Pfc. Russell Marcum, 20, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is considered armed and dangerous, state police said.

Marcum, who was in "unit custody" on the base after being arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of burglary, eluded officials on base Thursday night, got into an altercation with a fellow soldier and stole his parents’ 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, state Trooper Jack Keller said.


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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military • New York
July 29th, 2011
11:11 AM ET

Man accused of plotting Fort Hood attack to appear in court

An AWOL Muslim American Army private arrested after buying bomb-making supplies is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo will appear before a civilian magistrate judge in Waco, Texas, at 11 a.m. (noon ET). The specific charges against him will be unsealed following his appearance, according to court officials.

Killeen police arrested Abdo, 21, on Wednesday after a gun store employee tipped them that Abdo's behavior raised red flags when he purchased six pounds of smokeless gunpowder and other supplies.

FBI investigators who searched his hotel room found enough material for two bombs, a Defense Department official said.

"Military personnel were a target of this suspect," Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin told reporters on Thursday.

Killeen is home to Fort Hood, the same military post where a 2009 shooting spree left 13 people dead. Another Muslim American soldier, Maj. Nidal Hasan, has been charged in those killings.

Asked how close Abdo may have come to pulling off an attack, Baldwin said, "I can tell you that we would probably be here today giving you a different briefing had he not been stopped."

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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military • Texas
Officials: Jihadi literature found in arrested soldier's backpack
Pfc. Naser Abdo is seen here in a screengrab from a 2010 interview CNN conducted with him.
July 28th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Officials: Jihadi literature found in arrested soldier's backpack

[Updated at 1:34 p.m.] Jihadi literature was found in a backpack belonging to Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, who said he wanted to attack soldiers at Fort Hood, two law enforcement officials said.

[Updated at 12:58 p.m.] A soldier arrested near Fort Hood, Texas told investigators that he wanted to attack Army soldiers outside Fort Hood, a law-enforcement official said.

[Updated at 12:06 p.m.] Read a full story on the incident at Fort Hood here.

[Updated at 11:16 a.m.] The soldier suspected of having bomb-making materials near Fort Hood, Texas, is expected to face federal charges, possibly as early as Thursday afternoon, a federal law-enforcement official said.

[Updated at 11:13 a.m.] A statement on the Fort Hood website acknowledged Pfc. Naser Abdo's arrest but said it had no connection to the base.

"We are aware at this time that Killeen Police Department arrested a soldier yesterday. The incident leading to the arrest did not occur on Fort Hood and the soldier was not a Fort Hood based soldier," the statement said.

Abdo was assigned to Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

Abdo refused to deploy to Afghanistan on grounds of his religion and had put in the paperwork to be discharged as a conscientious objector. The Army approved his request, but he was then charged with child pornography and went AWOL, the official said.

"We have two things that I believe make us American, and that's freedom of religion and freedom of choice," he said in an interview last year.

He said he had to remain true to Islam.

"I've come to the conclusion that the consequences I would face by refusing deployment are a lot less than the consequences I would face should I go. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if I deployed," he said.

Abdo had put in the paperwork to be discharged as a conscientious objector at Fort Campbell. The Army approved his request, but he was then charged with child pornography and went AWOL, the official said.

CNN spoke with Abdo in 2010 when he was trying to be discharged as a conscientious objector.

Watch what he had to say about the issue:

[Updated at 11:00 a.m.] Texas police arrested a U.S. soldier who went AWOL this month after being charged with possessing child pornography, a Defense Department official told CNN Thursday.

Pfc. Naser Abdo was assigned to Fort Campbell in Kentucky but was arrested in Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood, the military base where a 2009 shooting spree left 13 people dead and 32 others wounded.

Killeen police received a call from a gun shop owner about a suspicious man in the store who was asking questions about 40-caliber ammunition and then bought three boxes of 12-gauge ammunition and a magazine for a pistol, the defense official said. He paid cash and left in a cab. He then went to a surplus store and allegedly bought a military uniform.

FBI agents searching the soldier's hotel room found gunpowder, shotgun shells, a pressure cooker, 18 pounds of sugar, four magazines and ammunition, the defense official said. The FBI is investigating the case.

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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military • Texas
Army approves death penalty option in trial for accused Fort Hood shooter
July 6th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Army approves death penalty option in trial for accused Fort Hood shooter

A U.S. Army general Wednesday approved a possible death penalty in the future military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the American Muslim accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, the Fort Hood commander, formally announced that the charges against Hasan will be tried as capital offenses in a general court-martial. His decision means that if a panel of military officers finds Hasan guilty, they can consider the death penalty as a possible sentence.

Campbell's decision moves the case forward and also eliminates the possibility that Hasan, a psychiatrist, could enter a guilty plea and prevent a costly and lengthy trial.

A court-martial could be months away.

"After a referral of a case to trial by court-martial, a military judge will receive the case and at some future date, set a schedule," said a statement from Fort Hood Wednesday. "The first likely matter for a military judge to schedule in this court-martial is the arraignment of Hasan. No military judge has been named to this case at this time."

A capital court-martial is highly unusual. The last military execution in the United States took place in 1961.

Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in November, 2009. Witnesses at a preliminary hearing identified him as the man who calmly walked through a medical building on the country's largest military base, shooting and frequently reloading his handgun as he shouted "Allah Akbar," which means "God is great" in Arabic.


Army disciplines 9 for not flagging Fort Hood suspect
Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is shown on April 9 after being moved from an Army medical center in San Antonio to the Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas.
March 10th, 2011
06:04 PM ET

Army disciplines 9 for not flagging Fort Hood suspect

The secretary of the U.S. Army has disciplined nine officers for failing to warn of problems with Maj. Nidal Hasan - the officer accused of committing the 2009 Fort Hood shootings - before he was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.

Secretary John McHugh's move comes after the service reviewed the circumstances leading up to the Fort Hood shootings, in which 13 people were killed and 43 others were wounded.

McHugh "initiated adverse administrative action against nine officers for administrative and leadership failures relating to the career" of Hasan, according to an Army statement released Thursday.

The officers were not identified. The Army statement said the severity of the discipline varied depending on the actions of each officer.

The Army report found no single factor led ultimately to the shooting but "certain officers clearly failed to meet the high standards expected of their profession."

In addition, the Army secretary has ordered a review of how evaluations of personnel are conducted and procedures for training and counseling

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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military
November 17th, 2010
03:06 PM ET

Military can seek death penalty for accused Fort Hood shooter

The investigating officer in the case of the accused Fort Hood shooter has recommended that the military pursue the death penalty against Maj. Nidal Hasan, according to his lawyer.

Col. James Pohl, who acted as a judging during the just completed Article 32 hearing, also recommended a general court martial for Hasan, who faces 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and 32 counts of attempted pre-meditated murder in the shootings at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.


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Filed under: Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting
November 15th, 2010
02:17 PM ET

Defense rests with nothing to say in Fort Hood military hearing

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of the Fort Hood massacre last November, on Monday maintained the mystery about his thoughts, keeping silent when he and his lawyer had their chance to outline
their case.

Lawyers for Hasan brought no witnesses to the stand in the military hearing about the shootings.

Asked if he wished to make a statement, Hasan gave a barely audible "no" to the presiding officer.


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Filed under: Crime • Fort Hood
November 15th, 2010
09:41 AM ET

On the Radar: Suu Kyi, Fort Hood, Rangel, lame ducks

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent much of the last two decades under house arrest.

Still open for dialogue - Freed activist Aung San Suu Kyi said she would continue working on matters of democracy and human rights in Myanmar and doesn’t worry about being detained again.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in Myanmar. She insists all parties  - both inside and outside of the country - must continue working together.

Suu Kyi said she’d like to begin engaging Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military leader and head of state, in dialogue.


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Filed under: Charles Rangel • Courts • Crime • District of Columbia • Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Human rights • Justice • Myanmar • Nobel • On the Radar • Politics • Texas
October 21st, 2010
11:18 AM ET

Prosecutors close Fort Hood case, defense to begin Nov. 15

Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with killing 13 people in a rampage last year.

[Updated at 11:18 a.m.] The prosecution has completed presenting its case against alleged Fort Hood shooter and Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan.

The investigating officer has recessed the proceedings until November 15th, at which time the defense will have an opportunity to present its case.

[Updated at 10:18 a.m.] The prosecution said it plans to wrap up its case against alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan on Thursday, and Hasan's legal team will present its defense in more than two weeks.

The prosecution has called more than 50 witnesses who have delivered chilling testimony about the shooting rampage that left 13 dead at a Texas military base. Hasan is the subject of an Article 32 hearing, which will determine if there is ample evidence to proceed with a court martial.

The former Army psychiatrist is charged with killing 13 people and wounding dozens more in a November rampage.


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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Justice • Texas
October 20th, 2010
05:43 PM ET

Witness thought there was more than one shooter

An Army officer said he thought the rapid rate of gunfire meant there was more than one shooter in last November's Fort Hood massacre.

But when the shooting ceased after police brought down Nidal Hasan, it became clear he had acted alone, Major Stephen Richter said.


October 20th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Officer: Fort Hood shooter had 177 of rounds left

Army investigators said Wednesday that Major Nidal Hasan had 177 rounds left when he was finally shot down by police last November.

Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others after a rampage last November at Fort Hood.  A police officer, Major Mark Todd, told the military hearing on Wednesday that he found extra magazines and a second handgun, a revolver, after Hasan finally was subdued, wounded four times.

Todd and his fellow civilian police officer, Sgt. Kim Munley described the gunfight outside the building where the final stand-off occured.

"I challenged him, 'Halt, military police, drop your weapon,'" Todd said during his testimony Wednesday morning. "He raised his weapon and fired."

Munley, who was widely praised for her role in ending the shooting admitted in testimony that she did not know how many times she had hit Hasan.


October 19th, 2010
07:38 PM ET

Nurse recalls blood-soaked halls of Fort Hood shooting

Even before the Fort Hood shooting ended, nurses and medics rushed to help the wounded.

"Nurses and medics get the [expletive] out here now - we have soldiers bleeding," Sgt. First Class Maria Guerra recalled herself yelling.

"You train for this, you train for this, let's go," she said as civilians and soliders came out of hiding to save their fallen buddies.


October 19th, 2010
02:33 PM ET

Witness recalls Ft. Hood suspect's 'casual' walk

A witness in the case against Maj. Nidal Hasan recalled Tuesday the sound that the accused Fort Hood shooter made as he walked down the halls of the processing center where he'd opened fire that November day.

Shell casings were wedged in the tread of Hasan's combat boots, making a distinctive "clack, clack" as he walked, said Ted Coukoulis, a civilian nurse, on the sixth day of the alleged shooter's military hearing.

Coukoulis testified in the Article 32 evidentiary hearing that will determine whether the case will proceed to a court martial and the possible death penalty for Hasan.

"It was a casual walk," Coukoulis said, comparing it to how someone would walk through a mall. "He stopped firing and started walking toward where I was - clack, clack, clack."


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Filed under: Afghanistan • Courts • Death Penalty • Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Justice • Military • Texas
October 18th, 2010
06:50 PM ET

Witness: Accused Fort Hood shooter had 'passive' look

A survivor of last year's Fort Hood, Texas, shootings testified Monday that the gunman showed no emotion as he killed 13 people and injured dozens more.

"He wasn't happy, he wasn't angry," Sgt. 1st Class Miguel Valdivia said of the accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan. "It was some kind of passive look."

Valdivia's testimony came on the fifth day of an Article 32 hearing at the base to determine whether there is enough evidence for Nasan to proceed to a court-martial in the November 2009 shooting spree on the military base.


October 17th, 2010
04:26 PM ET

At Fort Hood: sounds of war, memories of a massacre

The distant rumble of big guns on Fort Hood's artillery range rattles the ceiling tiles in the small military courtroom.

But the sounds of war training don't interrupt the intensity inside the military hearing as dozens of witnesses here recall that day last November when 13 people were shot to death and 32 wounded on the base in central Texas.

Training with Paladin howitzers is part of everyday life at Fort Hood, the country's largest Army base. Most of the shooting victims were preparing to ship out to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But nothing prepared them for what happened to them at home - dodging bullets as a gunman cut down their buddies.


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Filed under: Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Justice • Military • Texas
October 15th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Witness says he took, deleted video of Fort Hood shooting

[Updated at 5:19 p.m.] In response to a question about the telephone video, a Fort Hood official, who insisted on anonymity because of the ongoing criminal investigation related to the shooting, said: "Since this matter was raised during the Article 32 hearing, it is for the Article 32 hearing officer to decide whether to make further inquiries to the soldier's chain of command for additional information."

[Original post] The shooting at Fort Hood was captured on video by a soldier using his cell phone camera as he hid from the shooter, but he was ordered to erase it, the soldier said Friday.

Pfc. Lance Aviles spoke of the video as he testified on the third day of the Article 32 military hearing for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 in the 2009 shooting.

Aviles said he was ordered by a noncommissioned officer to delete the video on the day of the shooting. He did not describe to the court what the video contained.

He said he saw the gunman stop to reload and considered rushing him. But by the time Aviles got up, he said, the shooter "had already loaded another magazine. So instead of running to him, I ran off to the right."


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Filed under: Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Justice • Terrorism • Texas
October 13th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

Fort Hood shooter 'was aiming at soldiers,' victim says

The first witness in the Fort Hood massacre hearing gave a chilling account Wednesday of how he and others were shot last November.

Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, speaking on the second day of the Article 32 hearing, said Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan pulled a weapon from underneath his uniform and began firing.

Hasan is charged with the murder of 13 people at Fort Hood on November 5 and the wounding of 32 others.

"I noticed the weapon he was firing had an infrared sight, like a laser sight on the weapon," Lunsford said. "He was aiming at the soldiers."


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Filed under: Crime • Fort Hood • Fort Hood shooting • Justice • Texas • U.S.
September 29th, 2010
02:21 PM ET

Fort Hood: Four soldiers apparently killed themselves

Four soldiers from the Fort Hood Army base in Texas - all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan - died in the past week, a Fort Hood spokesman said Wednesday.

In all four cases, it appears the soldiers took their own lives, spokesman Christopher Haug said.


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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military • Texas
April 15th, 2010
07:30 PM ET

Pentagon implementing first of Fort Hood recommendations

The Pentagon is implementing a third of the recommendations made by a panel highly critical of the Department of Defense's safeguards to prevent events like the Fort Hood shooting last fall.


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Filed under: Fort Hood
March 22nd, 2010
04:56 PM ET

Fort Hood shooting suspect may soon move

The Army is a big step closer to moving Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan to a jail just 19 miles from the scene of the November massacre that left 13 people dead.


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Filed under: Fort Hood