Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Again, a female cop is hero at Fort Hood

Military police officer a Fort Hood hero

    Just Watched

    Military police officer a Fort Hood hero

Military police officer a Fort Hood hero 02:15

Story highlights

  • Unnamed military policewoman was likely patrolling by herself, former MP leader says
  • General: She engaged Spc. Ivan Lopez before he killed himself
  • "It was clearly heroic what she did in that moment in time," Lt. Gen. Milley says
  • In 2009, another policewoman was credited with helping end Maj. Nidal Hasan's rampage

A soldier has committed a deadly mass shooting at Texas' Fort Hood again. And again, a female police officer was involved in bringing the violent rampage to an end.

The military policewoman has not been identified, but by all accounts, she risked her life to ensure the bedlam wrought by Spc. Ivan Lopez came to a close in the second building he entered.

By then, Lopez, whom the Army chief of staff has described as a "very experienced soldier," had taken three lives and wounded 16 people -- all of them Army personnel. Without the officer's courageous actions, Wednesday's casualty count might have been higher.

"It was clearly heroic what she did in that moment in time," said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post's commander. "She did her job, and she did exactly what we'd expect of a United States Army military police."

According to Milley, the melee began about 4 p.m. Lopez first walked into a unit building and opened fire. The 34-year-old Iraq veteran then left, got into a vehicle and continued firing the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic that he had purchased off-base, Milley said.

Who was the Fort Hood shooter?

    Just Watched

    4 dead, 16 wounded in Fort Hood shooting

4 dead, 16 wounded in Fort Hood shooting 01:40
PLAY VIDEO
Shooter used .45-caliber handgun

    Just Watched

    Shooter used .45-caliber handgun

Shooter used .45-caliber handgun 03:00
PLAY VIDEO
Who was the Fort Hood shooter?

    Just Watched

    Who was the Fort Hood shooter?

Who was the Fort Hood shooter? 02:12
PLAY VIDEO
Fort Hood shooter underwent treatment

    Just Watched

    Fort Hood shooter underwent treatment

Fort Hood shooter underwent treatment 02:04
PLAY VIDEO

Lopez exited the vehicle and walked into a second building, opening fire again, Milley said. It was there he "was engaged by local law enforcement here at Fort Hood."

The MP arrived in the parking lot about four minutes after the first 911 call, and she began to look for the suspect with other law enforcement officers. A short time later, she saw the suspect.

"He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He put his hands up, then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (semiautomatic) and she pulled out her weapon," the lieutenant general said.

"She engaged, and then he put the weapon to his head and he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Milley said.

The shooting spree was over in about 15 or 20 minutes. The investigation into what spurred Lopez's violent revolt promises to take much longer.

U.S. Rep. John Carter joined Milley in praising the military policewoman in a CNN interview Thursday, saying she "responded exactly as the military would expect." He further said that her quick reaction was a result of training that military police took after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, in which Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 31 others on the base.

"That's the active shooter program they've all been through," Carter said. "We can see that this is the training that was the result of the Hasan shooting. I lived through the Hasan shooting, and it was kind of eerie last night."

In 2009, Sgt. Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer, was washing her car and topping off the gas tank when she got the report that shots had been fired at Fort Hood. She and Senior Sgt. Mark Todd responded to the scene and were directed to the Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

The 5-foot-2, 125-pound mother of two and her partner exchanged gunfire with Hasan, who shot Munley three times, sending a bullet into each of her thighs and another into her knuckles.

Munley and Todd were credited with ending Hasan's rampage and hailed as heroes. Munley can no longer work in law enforcement because of her injuries and has spoken out on behalf of the victims, whom she claims the government has "betrayed" by denying them certain treatment and benefits in the aftermath of the shooting.

Though not much is yet known about the policewoman involved in ending Wednesday's shooting spree, Fort Hood is home to the 89th Military Police Brigade, a "combat-ready, deployable force" that can support worldwide operations, according to the brigade's web page.

Phillip Carter, a former MP captain on the post, said he believes she was a junior enlisted soldier who was patrolling by herself. He credited her for facing the threat.

"Most police officers probably would have stepped back and waited for backup, but she stepped forward," he said.

Carter told CNN her training would have been 18 weeks and included a "Shoot/No Shoot," class on a shooting course.

"You have to make a decision on the range as to whether to engage or not," he said. "They're designed to create that split-second impulse because that's all you would have in this kind of a situation."

Brian Todd answers Twitter users questions about the hero officer

      Fort Hood shooting

    • tsr dnt marquez fort hood shooter ivan lopez background_00014514.jpg

      Spc. Ivan Lopez vented about a range of subjects on Facebook before his shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas, including his outrage at Adam Lanza's mass school shooting in Connecticut.
    • Sgt. Danny Ferguson, Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney and Sgt. Timothy Owens were killed during the shooting at Ft. Hood.

      The three soldiers killed at Fort Hood, Texas, came from different places. Two grew up in small towns, and one came from a seaside city in Puerto Rico.
    • CNN has obtained photos of Fort Hood shooting suspect, Ivan Lopez.  Photos provided by Ruth Diaz with Puerto Rico National Guard

      How can the military prevent someone undergoing psychiatric evaluation from bringing a firearm on base?
    • Image #: 28488337    epa04151863 An ambulence makes it's way to Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas, USA, 02 April 2014. Four people were reported to have been killed and 14 injured in a shooting at the US Army base and the base remains on lockdown as military police went building to building searching for others involved. The shooter was among the four dead, said US Representative Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.  EPA/ASHLEY LANDIS /LANDOV

      A soldier has committed a deadly mass shooting at Texas' Fort Hood again. And again, a female police officer was involved in bringing the violent rampage to an end.
    • The main gate at the Fort Hood Army Base is seen on South Fort Hood Street in Killeen, Texas on November 7, 2009.

      Authorities are downplaying terrorism -- although they haven't ruled it out until the investigation is complete.
    • Soldiers listen in the wings as Lt. Gen. Mark Milley address the media during a news conference at the main gate to Fort Hood, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide, authorities said. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

      It's a scene that's becoming all too familiar at Fort Hood: flag-draped caskets for soldiers who've survived war, only to be killed at home.
    • ac spider marks on ft hood_00003216.jpg

      Specialist Ivan Lopez has been identified as the man who opened fire in Fort Hood, killing three people then himself.
    • Military personnel wait for a news conference to begin at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. A gunman opened fire in an attack that left four people killed including the shooter, at the same post where more than a dozen people were killed in a 2009 mass shooting, law enforcement officials said. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said. At least 14 people were hurt in the shooting.

      The man who opened fire at the Fort Hood military post was a veteran who served four months in Iraq and was undergoing treatment for mental health issues.
    • ac marks on ft hood_00014917.jpg

      Retired Major General James "Spider" Marks spent years living at Fort Hood. He discussed the impact of Wednesday's shooting.