Accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan broke his silence Monday in the court martial against him.
Representing himself in the trial, the former Army psychiatrist has said very little to the dozens of witnesses who have testified for the prosecution, but on Monday, Hasan cross-examined someone on the stand for just the second time.
Hasan spoke up after current Fort Hood soldier Staff Sgt. Juan Alvarado gave his account of a gunfight between Hasan and Kim Munley, a civilian Fort Hood police officer who responded to the November 2009 shooting massacre.
Alvarado testified that Hasan and Munley both shot at each other and Munley’s gun jammed. That’s when Hasan shot Munley, sending her to the ground. Hasan then stood over Munley and aimed before he was shot himself, according to Alvarado.
Hasan asked Alvarado to confirm his story.
“Are you saying after it was clear she was disarmed, I continued to fire at her?” Hasan asked the solider.
Alvarado stood by his testimony and Hasan ended his cross-examination of the witness.
Earlier in the day, the prosecution called to the stand a computer expert who examined Hasan’s laptop. The expert testified that Hasan had searched the terms “Afghanistan Taliban” and “Jihad Muslim” before the shooting.
According to the witness, Hasan had read just before the shooting a Yahoo News article about Pakistan Taliban leaders calling on followers to fight the U.S. Army.
On Monday, the courtroom also learned that Hasan had let one witness of the massacre, another soldier, live.
Dressed in a cap and gown for graduation, the solider saw Hasan reloading his pistol and asked what was happening. Hasan told the witness not to worry because it was just a training exercise.
Over the course of the court martial, the prosecution has called more than 80 witnesses and could wrap its case up by the end of this week.