FORT HOOD, Texas -- Victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage are gearing up to face the man accused of opening fire. The trial for Army Major Nidal Hasan begins Tuesday morning.
Hasan is facing the death penalty. He's charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Major Hasan doesn't deny the shooting. He has said he was protecting the Taliban from American aggression.
The shooting unfolded at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center on the post back in November 2009.
"A few seconds after he started shooting is when I took a round to the chest," said shooting victim Shawn Manning.
Many of the surviving victims are expected to testify; reliving that terrifying day.
"Everyone is scrambling. It's chaos," said shooting victim Alonzo Lunsford.
The center may also be used as evidence. Since the shooting, it has remained roped off.
“You've got to preserve all of the evidence. From the time of the shooting that area has been cordoned off and has not been disturbed so that they can preserve the evidence. Some of the evidentiary [sic] things that can be removed from the scene. They actually had to build a separate storage facility for those things,” explained defense attorney Nathan Kennedy.
Major Hasan has asked to represent himself in the trial. He is not expected to dispute that he was the gunman. Instead experts say he'll fight the death penalty, which is the maximum sentence if the jury finds him guilty for pre-meditation.
Over the next several weeks, Hasan is expected to deliver an opening statement, to question witnesses and possibly present his own evidence. The trial is expected to last several months.
Meanwhile, Texas Congressman Roger Williams will be at Fort Hood as part of the trial. He has been pushing two bills that would declare the 2009 shooting a terrorist act.
That would give victims and their families rights to treatment, benefits and honors granted in combat zones.
Currently the Pentagon classifies the shooting as "workplace violence."