10/20/2010

Civilian cop shot Fort Hood gunman many times

Shot him, secured him in handcuffs, and then tried to save his life

By Angela K. Brown and Michael Graczyk
Associated Press

FORT HOOD, Texas — A civilian police officer says he shot the Fort Hood gunman several times, secured him in handcuffs then tried to save his life.

Sgt. Mark Todd told a military court Wednesday that he verbally challenged the shooter, who responded with gunfire. Todd says he fired at the gunman, who winced "a couple of times."

The Article 32 hearing, now in its second week, is being held to determine whether Maj. Nidal Hasan will stand trial on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the attack - the worst mass shooting at an American military base.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who attended the hearing in a wheelchair, is paralyzed from the chest down from police gunfire that ended the Nov. 5 onslaught.

Several people have testified in Hasan's trial.

A police officer told a military court Wednesday that she exchanged gunfire with an American-born Muslim, but that she doesn't know how many times she hit him, if at all.

"I did not see him fall. Not with my shots," Kim Munley told the Article 32 hearing under cross examination.

Asked to identify the gunman, Munley stood up, looked directly at Maj. Nidal Hasan and described him.

The courtroom was played a video recorded by the dash-cam in Munley's parked police car that shows her and soldiers darting between vehicles as rapid bursts of gunfire ring out around them. The gunman cannot be seen.

"He was shooting. I was returning fire. I got hit in the thigh. ... and I got shot in the knee," Munley said.

She said her gun malfunctioned and that she placed it on the ground with the intention of fixing it, but that the shooter kicked it out of her reach. She said the gunman also seemed to be having weapon problems when Todd appeared from around a corner and ordered him to drop the gun. The two men exchanged fire.

Several witnesses at the hearing have said the gunman in an Army combat uniform shouted "Allahu Akbar!" - "God is great!" in Arabic - then opened fired in a crowded waiting area. They say he kept firing rapidly, pausing only to reload, and shot people as they hid under tables or curled up in chairs - even shooting soldiers after they fled outside.

At some point after the hearing, Col. James L. Pohl, the investigating officer in the case, will recommend whether Hasan should go to trial. That decision - and whether the Army will seek the death penalty - ultimately will be made by Fort Hood's commanding general.

Hasan remains jailed. There is no bail in the military justice system.
 

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