‘I am the shooter,’ declares defendant at start of Fort Hood trial

The trial of accused Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan began on Tuesday in Texas.

Hasan is representing himself, which means he will be cross-examining many of the people he is accused of shooting.

He said in his opening statement that “the evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter," according to the Associated Press.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, added later that it also would show "that we are imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion ... I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor."

The trial got underway amid heavy security, as a long row of stacked shipping freight containers created a makeshift fence around the military courthouse, The Associated Press reported.

Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and injuring 32 others in the massacre at the Texas base in 2009 and could face the death penalty.

Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was blinded in his left eye in the shooting, told CBS News that the questioning from Hasan will be “extremely hard” for him to deal with.

"It's going to be very difficult," he said. "Because inside me, I want him to physically feel what it feels like to have his life in my hands.

"No matter what type of smirk or what time of smart comment that he comes out with, I stay on point, on topic, straight to the point," Lunsford said.

In his opening statement, military prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks said that Hasan deliberately targeted soldiers and planned to "kill as many soldiers as he could,” according to the AP.

Henricks said that Hassan sought to clear the area of civilians before he started shooting, telling one woman that a supervisor was looking for her elsewhere.

"He then yelled 'Allahu akbar!' and opened fire on unarmed, unsuspecting and defenseless soldiers," Henricks told the jury, according to the AP.

The military judge Col. Tara Osborn said that the trial could last several months.