EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

August 29, 2013

Fort Hood shooter sentenced to death

(Continued)

Authorities said Hasan spent weeks planning the Nov. 5, 2009, attack, including buying a handgun and videotaping a sales clerk showing him how to change the magazine.

He later plunked down $10 at a gun range outside Austin and asked for pointers on how to reload with speed and precision. An instructor said he told Hasan to practice while watching television or sitting on his couch with the lights off.

When the time came, Hasan stuffed paper towels in the pockets of his cargo pants to muffle the rattling of extra ammunition and avoid arousing suspicion. Soldiers testified that Hasan’s rapid reloading made it all but impossible to stop him. Investigators recovered 146 shell casings in the medical building and dozens more outside, where Hasan shot at the backs of soldiers fleeing toward the parking lot.

In court, Hasan never played the role of an angry extremist. He didn’t get agitated or raise his voice. He addressed the judge as “ma’am” and occasionally whispered “thank you” when prosecutors, in accordance with the rules of evidence, handed Hasan red pill bottles that rattled with bullet fragments removed from those who were shot.

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Associated Press writers Will Weissert at Fort Hood and Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston contributed to this report.

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