‘I could hear the bullets going past me’
By Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The first frantic 911 calls had come just four minutes earlier. Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer for the Army, rounded the corner of a squat, one-story building at 1:27 p.m. Thursday and came face to face with Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, had already killed or wounded dozens of soldiers, having fired more than 100 rounds, according to Army officials. He was still shooting at unarmed troops who were dragging away their bleeding colleagues when he locked his eyes on Munley, raised his pistols, and charged her.
The petite officer dropped to the ground for protection and fired back. Bullets struck Munley, 35, in both thighs and one wrist.
At least one of Munley’s rounds hit Hasan in the chest, knocking him to the ground, witnesses said, although the details of what happened are still unclear.
“She moved to the threat and eliminated it,” said Chuck Medley, director of emergency services at Fort Hood, Tex. As she fired off her rounds, a few other officers also closed in on Hasan, who lay bloody and unconscious.
The police officer’s heroics ended a horrific rampage for Fort Hood soldiers, who had already experienced years of deployments, bloodshed and memorial services in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials said Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 38. Hasan’s family members said he was upset about his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
“Candidly, this was a kick in the gut, not only for the Fort Hood community but the entire Army,” said the Army chief of staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who commanded U.S. forces during the darkest and bloodiest days in Iraq.
The story has all the ingredients of the gripping tales that serve to replace thoughtful reportage. 13 dead, 39 wounded, a young and brave civilian policewoman taking over from a mass of war-hardened troops and ending the chaos.
This is Saturday. For three days the mayhem at Fort Hood has served to fascinate readers and grip viewers, as endlessly as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. It has the same ability to horrify, the same