Sergeant Mark Todd speaks: “I returned fire, neutralized him and secured him.”

Yesterday I posted a New York Times article by James C. McKinley which, based on information from a lone, anonymous witness, contradicted last week’s nation-wide story of how the mass murderer Nidal Hasan had been shot and stopped by 5 foot 2 inch female police sergeant Kimberley Munley. In this morning’s Times, a highly revised story by McKinley appears at the same web address and goes substantially further than yesterday’s story. The headline of the story posted yesterday at the Times’ website and also appearing on the front page of the paper’s print version was, “At Fort Hood, Witness Credits Second Officer.” The headline of the story today that replaces yesterday’s story is, “Second Officer Gives an Account of the Shooting at Ft. Hood.” An early paragraph in yesterday’s story is:

But the story of how the petite police officer and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire does not agree with the account of an eyewitness who had gone to the base’s processing center, where the shooting occurred, to conduct business before being deployed.

In today’s version, that paragraph has been replaced by:

But the initial story of how she and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire now appears to be inaccurate.

Another officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, said in an interview Thursday that he fired the shots that brought down the gunman after Sergeant Munley was seriously wounded. A witness confirmed Sergeant Todd’s account.

I find it galling that today’s newspapers, instead of posting a revised story at a new address, simply replace the older version with the newer version, so that the older version disappears from the Web. The practice is wrong in all kinds of ways, and should stop. If a story has been substantially revised, the new version should be posted at its own address, leaving the older version online for reference and comparison.

In any case, this is the first time that Sergeant Todd has spoken about what happened, and he settles the question of who stopped Hasan and the massacre, which in yesterday’s account, as I discussed, was still somewhat in doubt. Munley did not fire the shots that stopped Hasan. In fact (see below), the Times now says that instead of firing at least six shots at Hasan, both before and after he wounded her, she fired at most one shot and perhaps none at all.

It thus becomes clear that even in the midst of a mass murder brought about by the Army’s politically correct cover-up of a Muslim jihadist, the Army, with Kimberly Munley’s passive or active cooperation, was inventing out of thin air a politically correct feminist hero story. Once people commit themselves to diversity, every word out of their mouth becomes a lie.

By the same token, as I indicated in yesterday’s entry, it is to be doubted that the Times would have been so forthcoming about Todd’s central role in the gun battle if he had been white. It was politically correct, after a few days had passed, to replace the fictitious female neutralizer of Hasan with the actual black male neutralizer of Hasan. But if the shooter of Hasan had been a white man, it is reasonable to assume that the truth of what happened would still be murky at this moment. Even if the Times had let the truth out, it would not have been stated so clearly and emphatically as it is in this article.

November 13, 2009
Second Officer Gives an Account of the Shooting at Ft. Hood

KILLEEN, Tex.—Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been applauded as a hero across the nation for shooting down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan during the bloody rampage at Fort Hood last week. The account of heroism, given by the authorities, attracted the attention of newspapers, the networks and television talk shows.

But the initial story of how she and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire now appears to be inaccurate.

Another officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, said in an interview Thursday that he fired the shots that brought down the gunman after Sergeant Munley was seriously wounded. A witness confirmed Sergeant Todd’s account.

In the interview, Sergeant Todd said he and Sergeant 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, Sergeant 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.”

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

Sergeant Todd said he did not see Sergeant 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.

Sergeant Todd said he then saw Sergeant 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,” Sergeant Todd said. [LA replies: Why, at this point, was he still calling on Hasan to drop his weapon instead of just shooting him?] “And that’s when I returned fire, neutralized him and secured him.”

Citing the ongoing investigation, Sergeant Todd declined to give more details about the precise positions of Major Hasan, Sergeant Munley and himself during the gunfight. He also would not say how many times he shot Major Hasan with his 9 mm pistol, or what Major Hasan was doing. The whole encounter lasted only 45 seconds, he said. [LA writes: Why is Todd still not being completely forthcoming? Is he gallantly declining to contradict completely last week’s female national hero story, which Munley went along with, in which Munley was the only officer on the scene doing anything?]

Sergeant Todd’s account agrees with that of a witness who was at the processing center when the shooting occurred.

The witness, who asked not to be identified, said Major Hasan wheeled on Sergeant Munley as she rounded the corner of a building and shot her. Then Major Hasan turned his back and started putting another magazine into his semiautomatic pistol.

Sergeant Todd then rounded another corner of the building, found Major 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 Sergeant Munley a national hero for several days and obscured Sergeant Todd’s role, remains unclear. (Military officials also said for several hours after the shooting that Major Hasan had been killed; he survived.)

Six days after the shooting, the military has yet to put out a full account of what happened.

On Thursday, Christopher Grey, a spokesman for Army Criminal Investigation Command, told reporters that Sergeants Todd and Munley both “engaged the armed suspect.”

“I would caution you from drawing final conclusions until all the evidence is analyzed,” Mr. Grey said at a news conference at Fort Hood, where he announced that Major Hasan had been charged in a military court with 13 counts of premeditated murder.

On Wednesday, Lt. Col. John Rossi, the fort’s deputy commander, refused to take questions about who shot Major Hasan or why the initial reports said it had been Sergeant Munley rather than Sergeant Todd.

“These questions are specific to the investigation, and I am not going to address that,” Colonel Rossi said.

Public affairs officials also declined to make Chuck Medley, the director of emergency services at the post, available. It was Mr. Medley, who oversees the post’s civilian police and fire departments, who gave the first account of how Sergeant Munley stopped the gunman.

On Tuesday night, Lt. Col. Lee Packnett, an Army spokesman, declined to say whether it was Sergeant Todd who had shot Major Hasan. “It could have been, but the final outcome will be determined by the results of the ballistics tests.” Colonel Lee said.

On Wednesday, Sergeant Todd’s wife, Lisa, said her husband had asked the Army to protect his identity immediately after the shootings.

Asked in the interview whether he had asked to be kept out of the limelight, Sergeant Todd said: “Initially I wanted to stay pretty low key. This is a tragic event. I don’t think the attention should be on me. The medics are the ones who saved everybody’s life.”

Sergeant Todd and Sergeant Munley offered their first public comments on the shooting Wednesday on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” They did not give a detailed chronology of what happened, nor did they say who had fired and hit the suspect.

Both are members of the civilian police force at Fort Hood.

Sergeant Todd said on the talk show that after he had fired at the suspect, he kicked his weapon away and placed him in handcuffs. He said it was the first time in his 25 years in law enforcement and the military that he had used his weapon.

“I just relied back on my training,” Sergeant Todd said. “We’re trained to shoot until there is no longer a threat. And once he was laying down on his back, his weapon just fell into his hand and I’m, like, ‘O.K., now’s the time to rush him and secure him.’ “

The confusion over what happened and the quickness of the military to label someone a hero seemed reminiscent of the case of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in 2003, when the Army initially reported that Private Lynch had been captured in Iraq after a Rambo-like performance in which she emptied her weapon and was wounded in battle. It was later learned she had been badly hurt in a vehicle accident during an ambush and was being well cared for by the Iraqis.

On Friday, the day after the Fort Hood shooting, Mr. Medley said Sergeant Munley had encountered Major Hasan, pistol in hand, chasing down a bleeding soldier. She fired at him, he turned, they rushed at each other firing and both fell, Mr. Medley said.

“He turned and charged her rapidly firing, and she did what she was trained to do,” Mr. Medley said that day. He added, “She is absolutely a hero.”

Several hours later, Colonel Rossi expanded upon the story slightly in speaking to reporters. He said Sergeant Todd had arrived at the scene in the middle of the gunfight and had also fired his weapon.

The witness, however, offered a detailed account. He said he was walking in a roadway between the main building, known as the Sportsdome, and five smaller buildings. Major Hasan was headed toward the main building, the witness said, when Sergeant Munley came around the corner of a smaller building. Major Hasan wheeled on her and shot her several times, the witness said. It was unclear whether she squeezed off a shot or not, but she fell over backward, with wounds in her legs and her wrist, the witness said. [LA writes: This represents a radical reduction in Munley’s role. In the earlier account, she confronted Hasan and fired two shots at him. He fired back at her and hit her. She staggered back, firing two more shots at him, then fell to the ground, where she continued firing. In that account, she fired at least six rounds. In the revised version, it is questionable whether she fired any rounds at all.]

Major Hasan then turned his back and began to shove another magazine into his pistol. He did not appear wounded, the witness said. A few seconds later, Sergeant Todd came around another corner of the same building, raised his weapon and fired several times at Major Hasan, who pitched over backward and stopped moving.

“He shot her, turned away from her and was reloading when he was shot,” said the witness, who was nearby.

On the Winfrey show, Sergeant Munley, 35, said the incident was confusing and chaotic. “There were many people outside pointing to where this individual was apparently located,” she said. “When I got out of my vehicle and ran up the hill, that’s when it started getting bad and we started encountering fire.”

Sergeant Todd, a native of San Diego, has spent most of his adult life as a military police officer in the Army. A specialist in training police dogs, he left the military police in 2007, after 25 years, to join the civilian force at Fort Hood. He has served at four bases in the United States and two in Germany. Joining the civilian force at Fort Hood was supposed to be a second, quieter career for him, he said in the interview.

He said he was not troubled about having shot Major Hasan, whose pistol, he said, “looked like a howitzer” in his hand.

“There is a certain amount of fear, but you have to control it,” Sergeant Todd said. “You rely on your training, and your training takes over.”

Liz Robbins and Jonathan Miles contributed reporting from New York.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

The blog Workingclass Conservative has a vigorous and well written treatment of my argument in this entry and yesterday’s entry on the same subject.

Chuck Ross writes:

I’m enjoying your coverage of the Ft. Hood killings. One thing I want to add about the incident, and I’m sorry if I missed it somewhere in your analysis or the articles, is that its entirely possible that Sgt. Munley fired shots while Hasan was heading towards her but missed. It sounds as if there were lots of misses, and I’d imagine that its even harder to hit a target while being fired upon.

So it could be the case that Munley fired, missed, and in the haze of it all assumed that she hit Hasan when it could have actually been Todd that felled him. Once a thousand people start touting you as a hero, it’s difficult to voice any doubt you might have about your actual heroism. Either way, even if Munley didn’t actually land a shot, she diverted his attention and forced Hasan to empty his clip which allowed Todd to have a shot.

I’m glad you followed this though; I got annoyed at the likes of William Saletan and others who jumped straightaway into arguing that we need women in combat based on Sgt. Munley’s actions.

LA replies:

Yes, I dealt with that possibilty in my post yesterday where I copied the first version of the New York Times article (I think) However, the second Times article, posted in this entry, with the quotes by Todd, make it clear that he fired the shots that brought down Hasan.

But your point is a good one that Munley may well have believed that she fired the shots. There’s one propblem with that view, however. Most recent version of the story (today’s Times) she either fired once or not at all. In the previous versions she fired up to six shots. Clearly the Army et al. got itself into a mess here with the false early story and had to extricate itself.

November 14

Van Wijk writes:

I must admit that even I was taken aback just a bit at the flagrant lies put forward by the Army’s talking heads. I didn’t think they would be so bold considering the number of witnesses to the event. I was wrong. Comparisons to the Jessica Lynch affair are apt. Though I don’t have much respect for Lynch, she did have the integrity publicly to condemn the propaganda surrounding her. If it turns out that Munley didn’t fire at all, I would hope that the officer finds the same integrity and gives the credit to Officer Todd.

LA replies:

Consider how liberals view the correction of the story. Greg Mitchell at Huffington Post says that this shows how the military is always lying. He never mentions that it was a feminist, politically correct lie. No, it’s just the “military”—meaning the right-wing—that has done this. He doesn’t acknowledge that today’s military is a leftist, politically correct organization.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 13, 2009 05:45 AM | Send

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