Cop Hailed a Hero at Fort Hood Shooting

Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been hailed as a hero for shooting down the alleged Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan on Nov. 5, but a new interview with Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, and a separate eyewitness account, tell a different story.

In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Todd, 42, said he fired the shots to take down Hasan after Sgt. Munley was seriously wounded during the rampage at the Texas Army base. Thirteen people were killed.

Todd said he and Munley had pulled up to the scene in separate cars at the same time. He said they began running up a small hill toward the building that held the processing center where unarmed soldiers reported for check-ups and vaccinations before deployment. The gunman was already outside, Todd recalled.

“That’s when the bystanders were pointing in his direction,” he said. “And when we popped up, he was standing there, and we shouted our commands — ‘Police, drop your weapons!’ — and he just opened fire on us.”

Todd said he was slightly in front of Munley on the hill. “Once we took fire, she broke right and I broke left,” he said.

Todd said he did not see Munley get shot. He said he started to circle around the building, but then backtracked as panicked bystanders told him of the gunman’s movements.

“As it unfolded, I went a different direction and he went a different direction, and we met up in the front of the building,” he said.

Todd said he then saw Munley on the ground, wounded. He shouted again at the gunman to drop his weapon.

“Once I came around the front of the building, I caught his attention again, started shouting commands, and then he opened up a second time,” Todd said. “And that’s when I returned fire, neutralized him and secured him.”

Citing the ongoing investigation, Todd declined to give more details about the precise positions of Hasan, Munley and himself during the gunfight. He also would not say how many times he shot Hasan with his 9 mm pistol, or what Hasan was doing. The whole encounter lasted only 45 seconds, he said.

Todd’s account matches that of a witness who was at the processing center when the shooting occurred. The witness, who asked not to be identified, said Hasan wheeled on Munley as she rounded the corner of a building and shot her. Then Hasan turned his back and started putting another magazine into his semiautomatic pistol. Sgt. Todd then rounded another corner of the building, found Hasan fumbling with his weapon and shot him, the witness said.

How the authorities came to issue the original version of the story, which made Sgt. Munley a national hero for several days and obscured Sgt. Todd’s role, remains unclear, according to the Times. (Military officials also said for several hours after the shooting that Hasan had been killed; he survived.)