Fort Hood Survivor Alonzo Lunsford: His Lawsuit Against the Government

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On Tuesday, Nidal Hasan, on trial for the Fort Hood attack and acting as his own attorney, grilled witnesses — including his former boss. The former Army psychiatrist is accused of killing 13 in the November 2009 horrific onslaught.

He declined, however, to cross-examine one particular victim–Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford. And, it is Sgt. Lunsford who provided the day’s most damning testimony. Lunsford, who was shot seven times during the attack, testified that on that day, he initially saw Hasan sitting in a chair with his arms on his knees while staring at the floor. All of a sudden, according to Lunsford, Hasan leaped out of the chair and ordered the one civilian in the room to leave. Following that, Hasan shouted, “Allahu akbar” and opening fire.

The panicked soldiers ran to a rear door, but the door was jammed.

At one point, Lunsford said he ran for the door, while Hasan was firing shots at the soldiers. When he turned around he saw that Hasan’s laser sight was pointed directly at him. Lunsford was then shot in the head, following which he momentarily played dead. He then decided to flee because, “dead men don’t sweat.” He made another attempt to reach the door but was shot six more times before being pulled to safety.

Now Alonzo Lunsford is blind in his left eye, half of his intestines have been surgically removed, he has difficulty walking and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Facial reconstruction is among the six surgical procedures Lunsford, a married father of five, has undergone. One bullet is still lodged in his back. The 22-year Army veteran retired because of his injuries.

Lunsford and his wife, Gheri Weston, have children ranging in age from 10 to 18. Lunsford believes he’s alive for a reason and is “not going to waste that.” He has also offered that he was angry upon learning he would never recover sight in his left eye, but has pointed out that, “there are soldiers out there who have it worse than me, and I can reach out and relate to them in a way I never could before I was shot.”

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