FORT HOOD — A medical examiner testified Thursday the dozen gunshot wounds Spc. Frederick Greene suffered showed the soldier was charging the accused Fort Hood shooter when killed.
Maj. Nidal Hasan allegedly shot Greene more than any other victim in the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting. Forensic pathologist Lt. Col. Phillip Berran told the court the varied angles of the bullets were consistent with Greene charging Hasan.
“There was a dynamic interaction between the shooter and Greene,” Berrans said. “It wasn’t static; there was movement between the two.”
The Mountain City, Tenn., native was 29 years old when Hasan admittedly opened fire at the medical building of the Soldier Readiness Processing complex.
Greene was a combat engineer assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, and a father of two daughters.
He was one of four assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion killed in the mass shooting. Pfc. Michael Pearson, 21; Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, 19; and Pfc. Kham Xiong, 23, also died.
Testimony has shown retired Chief Warrant Officer-2 Michael G. Cahill, 62, and Capt. John P. Gaffaney, 56, also attempted to stop Hasan when he opened fire on them.
Greene’s autopsy was the last of 13 prosecutors presented over the past two days from seven forensic pathologists in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army.
The autopsy was scheduled to be entered into evidence at the outset of the hearing, but the extent of Greene’s injuries and the graphic nature of photographs led presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn to rule that several pieces of evidence must be modified before shown to the jury.
Osborn did allow prosecutors to show the bloody-and-torn uniform Greene wore when killed. However, prosecutors opted to show no photos of his body and instead relied upon a diagram that showed the locations of numerous entry and exit wounds and bullet trajectories.
Earlier Thursday, the prosecution nearly fumbled the opportunity to confirm Pvt. Francheska Velez was pregnant during the hearing. Lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan told the court he had no further questions for the forensic pathologist who performed Velez’s autopsy, when he quickly asked the judge if he could ask one final question.
Mulligan then asked Air Force Col. AbuBakr Marzouk if he found Velez had any medical conditions during his examination. Marzouk replied yes, telling the jury Velez was pregnant.
Velez’s death in particular created a flashpoint, with many angry the Army did not charge Hasan with a 14th murder for the death of her unborn child. Previous witnesses testified that Velez, 21, shouted “My baby! My baby!” before dying.
Velez, a Chicago native, was deployed in Iraq when she discovered she was pregnant. She was undergoing post-deployment processing when killed. A single gunshot wound to her back severed a critical artery and pierced her heart. She was three months’ pregnant.
Delays caused by the graphic nature of the evidence and the sheer amount of evidence prosecutors are entering in the case have slowed the pace of Hasan’s trial.
Prosecutors now believe they will not rest their case until early next week. Seventy-three witnesses have testified in eight days of hearings. Law enforcement investigators are expected to testify today.
Hasan trial day 8: Who testified
- Lt. Col Phillip Berran — U.S. Army forensic pathologist.
- Capt. Stephen Robinson — U.S. Navy forensic pathologist.
- Col. AbuBakr Marzouk — U.S. Air Force forensic pathologist.
- Retired Maj. Clifford Hopewell — Supervisor of Traumatic Brain Injury facility near location of shooting. Confirmed Hasan’s identity to investigators at the scene.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.