Alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has been paid more than $278,000 in salary since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that resulted in 13 deaths and 32 injuries, according to Dallas-Fort Worth's NBC 5 Investigates.
The Dallas Fort Worth news team reported that the Department of Defense confirmed that Major Hasan has continued to receive his salary because he has not yet been proven guilty. The rule is documented in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Hasan's continued salary was first reported in 2011.
NBC 5 Investigates reports that soldiers injured in the shooting spree are having to fight to "receive the same pay and medical benefits to those wounded in combat."
Because the government doesn't classify the shooting as an act of combat or terror, those injured don't receive additional pay or Purple Hearts, NBC 5 Investigates reports. The government has called the incident an act of "workplace violence."
The designation is an important one with real world effects for those injured in the shooting. NBC 5 Investigates spoke with Retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett. At the time of the shooting, the reservist was about to deploy to Iraq. He was shot three times by the gunman.
"Sickens me. Absolutely sickens me. Workplace violence? I don't even know if I have the words to say," said Burnett.
"They don't need to be treated like this. They don't need to sit and fight every day for this benefit or that,” said [wife] Torey Burnett.
As that fight continues, Burnett was stunned to see a letter detailing the more $278,000 Hasan has been paid since his arrest. NBC 5 Investigates received the letter from the Department of Defense in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
"There have been times when my wife and I cannot afford groceries. We cannot afford gas in our car,” Burnett said. “Literally, times where we ate Ramen noodles for weeks on end. This [that Hasan is still earning a paycheck] makes me sick to my stomach,” said Burnett.
Opening arguments for the trial are expected to begin on July 1. Hasan faces the death penalty. He was shot during the attack and is paralyzed from the chest down.