Lawyer: Ft. Hood suspect may be paralyzed

November 13, 2009 8:43:10 AM PST
The Army psychiatrist accused in the fatal shootings at Fort Hood may be paralyzed from the waist down after being shot multiple times during the attack, his attorney told The Associated Press on Friday. [PHOTOS: Images from Thursday's tragic shooting at Ft. Hood]
[MAP: Ft. Hood in Killeen]
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[INTERACTIVE: Details emerge about suspect's history]

Civilian attorney John Galligan said Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan told him that he had no feeling in his legs and extreme pain in his hands. Hasan, who was shot four times by civilian police officers, said doctors told him the condition may never improve.

Galligan said he spoke with Hasan for about an hour in the intensive care unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Thursday, the same day Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder.

The attack at the sprawling Texas post last week injured 43 people, including 34 who suffered gunshot wounds. The military initially said 29 people and Hasan had been wounded, but some of the injuries came to the attention of authorities days later as they pieced together what happened the day of the shooting.

Galligan said that his client's medical condition remains "extremely serious" and that Hasan didn't flinch when Galligan touched his leg. One of Hasan's relatives was able to see him Thursday for the first time since he was hospitalized.

Hospital spokesman Dewey Mitchell said he could not confirm whether Hasan was paralyzed because Hasan told hospital officials not to release any information about his condition or injuries.

Galligan said military prosecutors have not told him whether they plan to seek the death penalty, but he plans to file motions asking for a second military defense attorney and a civilian investigator to help with the case.

Army officials have said they believe Hasan acted alone when he jumped on a table with two handguns, shouted "Allahu akbar" and opened fire inside a building at Fort Hood. The 13 people killed included a pregnant soldier and at least three other mental health professionals.

Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey has said Hasan could face additional charges.

It had not been decided whether to charge Hasan with the death of the soldier's unborn child, officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

Galligan said he wasn't pleased that Hasan was charged in the hospital without his lawyers present.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has ordered a review of all intelligence related to Hasan and whether the information was properly shared and acted upon within government agencies.

Members of Congress, particularly Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, have called for a full examination of what agencies knew about Hasan's contacts with a radical Muslim cleric and others of concern to the U.S. and what they did with the information.

Hoekstra confirmed this week that the government knew about 10 to 20 e-mails between Hasan and a radical imam, beginning in December 2008.

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