Hasan trial

In this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, rear right, testifies in front of military prosecutor Lt. Col. Steve Henricks, center, with presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn looking on Tuesday during the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood.

Brigitte Woosley

A Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting victim told families to stay strong after another mass shooting on post occurred Wednesday.

Retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times by Nidal Hasan, said the days ahead will be hard but the community around Fort Hood will support victims and their families.

“I know this is a dark hour for them, and I know they have things going through their heads,” said Lunsford, who now resides in North Carolina. “Their main focus should be bonding together ... and don’t let hatred overtake them. They need to lean on their God, and lean on their higher power.”

The news of Wednesday’s shooting reminded Lunsford of the previous incident, which killed 13 and injured more than 30 others.

Reporters began calling him Wednesday evening to get his reaction on the latest shooting.

“When I first started to get the phone calls from media, I was on my way to basketball practice,” said Lunsford, a high school coach.

“I wasn’t going to go, but my wife said I needed to balance myself.”

Lundsford went, but continuing through practice was hard.

“I had to stop practice in the middle and explain to them what is going on.”

Lunsford said security should be increased on post in wake of the latest shooting.

“Are we going to be part of the problem or are we going to be part of the solution?” he asked.

“Just because we are winding down on the troop levels, doesn’t mean we need to be lax in security.

“My prayers and thoughts goes out to the families of the fallen, and the families of the deceased.”

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474

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