Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
After the verdict was rendered, notable Texans and others involved in the trial shared the following reactions:
“The victims and families have had to wait for far too long for today’s decision, but I hope they can take some relief in today’s outcome as they and the entire Fort Hood community continues to grieve. Fort Hood has long been a source of pride for all Texans, and the heroes who put themselves in harm’s way on that fateful day deserve to be recognized for their sacrifice whether overseas or at home. We must turn our attention to ensuring that the victims of this horrible tragedy and their families receive the full honors and benefits bestowed upon soldiers who are wounded or killed in overseas combat zones." -- U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who is currently drafting legislation that would make the Fort Hood victims and their families eligible for all the honors and benefits available to their comrades serving in overseas combat zones.
Cornyn has previously introduced the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act, which also would make those service members wounded or killed in the Fort Hood attack eligible for the Purple Heart. Cornyn said earlier this year that it added insult to injury that Hasan received pay while awaiting trial.
"I hope and pray this verdict will bring some peace to Nidal Hasan's victims and their families. But if we ever hope to defeat the ongoing threat from radical Islamism, we need to start by calling this terrorist attack on our armed forces by its name. Hiding behind "workplace violence" and excluding evidence on Hasan's pursuit of jihad will not make terrorism go away or properly honor the American heroes who were slain at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009." -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz
“Nidal Hasan’s cowardly attack on our military was a deliberate act of terror against our country. This guilty verdict affirms we are a nation of laws, honors the victims of this heinous act, and proves that, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, we will never waver from the core principles for which they gave their lives: freedom, liberty and democracy.” -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Neal Sher and Reed Rubinstein, attorneys for many of the Fort Hood victims, released the following statement after the verdict:
"Today's guilty verdict, rendered almost four years after the attack, is only a first, small step down the path of justice for the victims. In light of this verdict, we again call on DOD and DOJ to stop their cynical "workplace violence" charade - a charade carried on despite Hasan's confessions and the mountain of evidence demonstrating that the attack was the work of an Islamic jihadist, working on behalf of al-Qaeda, who killed Americans for his "brothers" in the Middle East - and to stop denying the Fort Hood victims the Purple Hearts and medical and other benefits to which they are rightfully due. We call on Congress and the Executive Branch to fairly compensate the Fort Hood terror victims, in all respects, as the 9/11 Pentagon attack victims were compensated. And, we call on the government, finally, to accept responsibility for the harm done by its political correctness, spin and cover-up and to provide the victims and the American people with the truth, decency and accountability that they deserve. The terrorist Hasan's conviction and sentencing is only the beginning, not the end of this story. Justice for the victims of Fort Hood will be done only when the government admits its mistakes, keeps its promises to 'make the victims whole' and comes clean about Fort Hood. The victims, and the American people, are owed nothing less."
A retired Army staff sergeant who encountered Maj. Nidal Hasan during the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage says "justice has been served." Howard Ray told The Associated Press on Friday that the verdict sends a message that the military "isn't going to mess with this kind of terrorism." Ray, who lives in Rochelle, Texas, says Hasan fired several shots in his direction on Nov. 5, 2009, and missed him by inches. The 33-year-old suffered nightmares and anxiety for a year after the shooting.
More statements will be added as they become available.