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August 7th, 2013
09:54 AM ET

Hasan Admits to Being Gunman at Ft. Hood

The court martial of the army psychiatrist accused of gunning down more than a dozen people began with a startling admission yesterday.  

“Dressed in an Army Combat uniform and an American flag decorating his sleeve, Major Nidal Hasan quickly admitted to killing defenseless fellow soldiers,” reports CNN’s Ed Lavandera.

"The evidence will clearly show I am the shooter," Hasan declared in the trial’s opening statements.

While prosecutors are fighting for the death penalty, Major Hasan is waging his own war to justify killing those 13 people and wounding more than 30 others in the horrific Fort Hood massacre four years ago.

“Hasan went on to say ‘I was on the wrong side and I switched sides,’” Lavandera says.

Acting as his own attorney, Hasan will likely cross-examine his own victims, including 41-year-old Christopher Royal.

“The chief warrant officer is still recovering from his wounds, nerve damage down his back, arm and legs.”

And while the government classifies the Fort Hood massacre as an outbreak of workplace violence, Royal tells Lavandera he considers Hasan a terrorist, but has forgiven him.

“Every day he goes by the Ft Hood memorial honoring his fallen comrades,” Lavandera reports.

Royal says, “…when I go by the site, it continues to help me go on. Because there were 13 that day that did not make it past that site. So that kind of pushed me through."

Follow along at CNN.com for developments.

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