Texas officer's partner describes gun battle with Fort Hood shooter
KILLEEN, Texas — One of two police officers who confronted the alleged Fort Hood killer says he shot Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan before kicking the man's weapon away, handcuffing him and ending the nation's worst killing spree on a military base.
Sgt. Mark Todd joined Sgt. Kimberly Munley, hailed as a hero for her actions, in a firefight with Hasan that lasted less than a minute. Todd was not wounded, but the exchange left Munley injured and Hasan critically wounded.
Seconds after Todd arrived on the scene, he said he saw a calm-looking Hasan, his gun drawn and his fingers pointing at people outside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. Todd said he then saw Hasan shooting at soldiers as they attempted to flee.
"He was firing at people as they were trying to run and hide," Todd told The Associated Press Saturday.
That's when Todd, a retired soldier who now works as a civilian police officer at Ford Hood, said he shouted at Hasan to stop.
"I told him stop and drop your weapons, I identified myself as police and he turned and fired a couple of rounds at me. I didn't hear him say a word ... he just turned and fired."
There has been confusion since Thursday's rampage about whose bullets actually brought Hasan down. At first, Munley's supervisor said it was her shot to Hasan's torso that leveled him, but Army officials would only say that an investigation was under way.
Munley was down by the time he engaged Hasan, Todd said. He wasn't sure if Munley had wounded the suspect, because "once he started firing at me, I lost track of her."
Todd said he fired his Beretta at Hasan. Hasan flinched, Todd said, then slid down against a telephone pole and fell on his back. Todd says he then heard bystanders say "two more, two more."
At first he thought the soldiers meant there were two more suspects, but then he realized they were urging him to fire two more rounds at Hasan, thinking he was still posing a threat.
Todd approached the suspect and saw that he still had a weapon in his hand. Todd kicked away the gun, which he said had a laser-aiming device attached to it.
"He was breathing, his eyes were blinking. You could tell that he was fading out. He didn't say anything. He was just kind of blinking," said Todd.
Todd handcuffed Hasan and checked to see if he was still alive. "He had a good pulse," said Todd. He also cut off pieces of Hasan's clothes so he could get first aid and noticed Hasan had gunshot wounds on his side and back.
From the time he got to the scene until Hasan dropped was just 30-45 seconds, Todd said. "It was pretty intense. There was a lot of people shouting, a lot of people giving directions," he said.
Munley, whose injuries weren't believed to be life threatening, won wide praise after the incident. Facebook fan pages quickly sprouted up, with well-wishers cheering her heroism and crediting the officers with saving lives.
Todd said there were numerous heroes, including the first responders who helped the injured.
"It's what we've been trained to do. This is what we have to do," he said. "There was absolutely no time to think about it ... you have to react."