Munley used Beretta 9 mm to bring down Fort Hood killer

Houston Chronicle:

However complete her training or rounded her experience, Sgt. Kimberly Munley may be forgiven if she never expected a scene quite like the one Thursday, when she found herself in a courtyard facing an Army major apparently gone berserk and a body count that would keep rising unless she stopped him.

Two quick shots from her Beretta 9 mm — pop, pop — and now Munley had the attention of the gunman. She had missed. He was angry. Now his Belgian-made 5.7 mm pistol was pointed not at the already wounded soldier he was chasing, but at Munley, a civilian police officer hired to help keep order at the sprawling base.

He charged her, firing rapidly along the way. She returned fire and dropped to the ground to give herself more cover. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who in an inexplicable instant had turned from caregiver to accused mass murderer, was allegedly in the process of killing 13 people and wounding 38 more. He now had Munley in his sights.

Hasan “was interested in nothing else but trying to eliminate her as his threat,” said Chuck Medley, head of the Fort Hood police and fire departments, which are civilian operations contracted to the Army.

The two fired again, perhaps simultaneously, Medley said. Each was struck. The gunman took a bullet to the upper torso; Munley was hit in her legs and wrists. Both would survive and the carnage had ended.

“He went down,” Medley said. “She eliminated the threat. She did what she was trained to do.”

And the lives she saved?

“Countless,” he said.

Munley was one of two people who shot the gunman, officials said Friday. Little information was available about Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, who also engaged the gunman and shot at him.

Munley, a 5-foot-2 weapons expert, was still on the scene when paramedics rushed Hasan to the hospital, Medley said. He visited the 34-year-old police officer in her hospital room Friday afternoon and found her in high spirits. She had only one request for her boss: Bring her husband, Staff Sgt. Matthew Munley — a soldier who recently transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C. — to Fort Hood to see her. The Army agreed, small compensation for a big act.

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One of the complaints some in the military have about the 9 mm Beretta is that it does not have the stopping power that is sometimes needed. That the shooter survived four rounds tells you why they are concerned. There can be no doubting Munley's courage and skill, though. I am glad she will get to see her husband.

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