Fort Hood Shooting Victims Sue Government

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (November 5, 2012)--On the third anniversary of the Fort Hood shooting rampage Monday, 148 survivors and family members of victims sued the U.S. government and seeking compensation over the attack in which an Army psychiatrist who is awaiting trial is charged.

The rampage on Nov., 5, 2009 at the post's Soldier Readiness Center left 13 people dead and more than two-dozen others wounded.

The lawsuit alleges negligence by the government and claims the Department of Defense is avoiding legal and financial responsibility for the killings by classifying the shootings as "workplace violence" rather than as a terrorist attack.

The lawsuit comes in the wake of a video made by survivors of the Fort Hood shooting. The video was a plea to the U.S. Government to re-classify the shooting as a terrorist act.

The video quickly went viral across the nation, but the Pentagon responded saying they would keep their "workplace violence" classification.

Former Fort Hood Police Officers, Sam Ray and Robert Borland, say the U.S. Government should recognize the importance of the shooting.

"The survivors and the victims are not being honored the way they need to be honored. It's a slap in the face, and I have no sense of pride," Borland said.

Borland and Ray were on duty the day of the shooting.

"This is just a big dishonor to the survivors and the victims. I don't know why the U.S. Government doesn't put this on the pedestal it needs to be on," Ray said.

Ray and Borland are not among those in the lawsuit, but they feel justice should be served.

"It's the U.S. Government's responsibilities to protect its soldiers while they go and protect their country," Borland said.

"They should feel protected on their home soil."

The group also is suing the estate of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born Islamic cleric who the victims say inspired Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to carry out the attack.

The two men exchanged e-mails before the shootings.

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