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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 21:49 GMT
Youngest sniper victim testifies
Iran Brown
Brown was seriously injured in the shooting
The youngest victim of the Washington-area sniper has testified at the trial of the man accused of shooting him.

Iran Brown, now aged 14, told a court in Virginia Beach how he was shot in the chest on his way to school on 7 October, 2002.

John Allen Muhammad, 42, is accused of shooting the boy and killing 10 people during a three-week sniping spree last year in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

He is on trial for the murder of 53-year-old Dean Meyers at a petrol station in Manassas, Virginia, on 9 October.

Mr Muhammad's alleged accomplice, 18-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, goes on trial separately next month.

'I got shot'

Jurors heard how Iran Brown was dropped off by his aunt, Tanya Brown, at Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland, on the morning he was shot.

"I walked out [of the car] and I put my bookbag down and I got shot," he said, in a calm, clear voice.

His aunt rushed him to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

The boy suffered injuries to many of his major organs and was in hospital for several weeks.

Iran Brown told the court the shooting had "brought me closer to God".

Bloodstain

Tanya Brown, a nurse, said she heard a loud noise followed by Iran calling for help.

"He told me, 'I've been shot.' I didn't believe him at first," she said.

She said she saw a hole in his shorts and what appeared to be a blood stain.

Mr Muhammad has pleaded not guilty to the four charges he faces over Meyers' death - which include two counts of capital murder, one charge of conspiracy and a weapons charge.

His lawyers have argued Mr Malvo did the actual shooting.

But Mr Malvo's lawyers contend that their young client was brainwashed by Mr Muhammad and say he will plead insanity.


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