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FORT HOOD, Texas – When the shooting started, Maj. Clifford Hopewell thought it was an M-16.

Hopewell, now retired from the military, was in the building next to the medical soldier readiness processing center on Nov. 5, 2009. He heard what he knew was a semi-automatic weapon, then people yelling and running toward his building.

When he went outside, he saw bodies on the ground and a magazine lying near his building. He picked it up, so no one would accidentally kick it. Then someone ran up to him and thrust a military ID card in his face, asking if the man in the photo worked for Hopewell.

“It was Nidal (Malik) Hasan,” Hopewell testified Thursday. “I worked with him.”

Hasan is on trial at the post where the massacre occurred, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in the clinic that afternoon. He was shot by police outside the clinic and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Hopewell said the person who showed him the military ID asked if he could identify Hasan, then led him to a man laying prone on the ground, not moving.

“I thought he was dead,” Hopewell said, identifying Hasan as the man who had been on the ground and the frail-looking man with the frizzy, graying beard in the courtroom.

Hasan has appeared in court each day wearing black sneakers, an Army Combat Uniform, a gray-green fleece cap and a brown Army sweater under his ACU blouse. He removes his cap when the judge enters the courtroom, but puts it back on during breaks.

Read more on Maj. Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood shootings

Hasan has kept his gaze directed at his notes, a computer screen in front of him or the table, looking up only occasionally as more than 70 witnesses have described his actions before and during the shooting or explained the results of the victims’ autopsies.

One man, Spc. Frederick Greene, was shot 12 times, a medical examiner told the court Thursday. Greene’s ACU blouse appeared completely soaked through with blood in a photo shown to the panel of jurors and admitted into evidence.

Though Hasan is representing himself, he has spoken very little during the course of the court-martial, and instead repeatedly says he has no objections – to photos, testimony and procedural issues. But late Thursday afternoon, when considering whether to allow the prosecution to call another witness, Col. Tara Osborn, the judge, asked Hasan what time he had woken up.

Hasan said he had woken up at 4 a.m. and been sitting upright since that time, and would prefer to break for the day, if that was possible.

Osborn instead chose to call a witness that prosecutors said would only take a few minutes, but afterward told Hasan that if he experienced difficulties during the trial because of his medical condition, to alert her.

hlad.jennifer@stripes.com Twitter: @jhlad


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