Nader Hasan, cousin to Nidal Malik Hasan, one of the gunmen in the Fort Hood massacre, spoke to Fox News' Shepard Smith on the phone tonight and went out of his way to stress his family is shocked by Hasan's actions and that Hasan was a "good American":
Both his parents are American, I want to make sure everyone understands, he was a good American, and we are shocked. We just found out from the news that he was being deployed [to Iraq]. He never even told us. We've known for the last five years that that was probably his worst nightmare. He deals with stories, he would tell us how he hears horrific things, but even before, things from before that was probably affecting him psychologically.
Hasan's cousin related that he had "been making requests since sometime after September 11th" not to be deployed to Iraq, and that Hasan had been trying to leave the military:
He was dealing with harassment from some of his colleagues to the extent where he hired a military attorney to have the issue resolved, pay back the government to get out of the military if that was it, but he was at the end of trying everything to make everybody fair and reasonable and him get out the situation, so I'm really shocked and baffled and if anybody wants to try to suggest that it has something else to do with being afraid of wanting to go to war, that's it.
Hasan's cousin said that he joined the military "right out of high school" and "against his parents' wishes."
Contrary to prior reports, Hasan has "always been Muslim" and is not a recent convert.
Hasan's cousin said "our family is feeling sadness, we feel so much sadness for any family who was hurt."
WATCH: (H/t Jon)