Subject: Eye witness from Fort
Since I don't know when I'll sleep (it's 4 am
now) I'll write what happened (the abbreviated version.....the long one
already part of the investigation with more to
come). I'll not write about any part of the investigation that I've
since (as a witness I know more than I should
since inevitably my JAG brothers and sisters are deeply involved in the
Don't assume that most of the current media accounts
are very accurate. They're not. They'll improve with time.
Only those of us who were there really know what
went down. But as they collate our statements they'll get it right.
I did my SRP last week (Soldier Readiness Processing)
but you're supposed to come back a week later to have them look at
the smallpox vaccination site (it's this big
itchy growth on your shoulder). I am probably alive because I pulled
a ---------- and
entered the wrong building first (the main SRP
building). The Medical SRP building is off to the side. Realizing
my mistake I left
the main building and walked down the sidewalk
to the medical SRP building. As I'm walking up to it the gunshots
Slow and methodical. But continuous.
Two ambulatory wounded came out. Then two soldiers dragging a third
who was covered in blood.
Hearing the shots but not seeing the shooter,
along with a couple other soldiers I stood in the street and yelled at
everyone who came running
that it was clear but to "RUN!". I kept
motioning people fast. about 6-10 minutes later (the shooting continuous),
two cops ran up. one male,
one female. we pointed in the direction
of the shots. they headed that way (the medical SRP building was
about 50 meters away). then a lot
more gunfire. a couple minutes later a
balding man in ACU's came around the building carrying a pistol and holding
He started shooting at us and we all dived back
to the cars behind us. I don't think he hit the couple other guys
who were there. I did see the
bullet holes later in the cars. First I
went behind a tire and then looked under the body of the car. I've
been trained how to respond to gunfire
...but with my own weapon. To have no weapon
I don't know how to explain what that felt like. I hadn't run away
and stayed because I had
thought about the consequences or anything like
that. I wasn't thinking anything through. Please understand,
there was no intention.
I was just staying there because I didn't think
about running. It never occurred to me that he might shoot me.
Until he started shooting in my
direction and I realized I was unarmed.
Then the female cop comes around the corner. He shoots her.
(according to the news accounts she
got a round into him. I believe it, I just
didn't see it. he didn't go down.) She goes down. He starts
reloading. He's fiddling with his mags.
Weirdly he hasn't dropped the one that was in
his weapon. He's holding the fresh one and the old one (you do that
on the range when time
is not of the essence but in combat you would
just let the old mag go). I see the male cop around the left corner
of the building. (I'm about
15-20 meters from the shooter.) I yell
at the cop, "He's reloading, he's reloading. Shoot him! Shoot him!)
You have to understand, everything
was quiet at this point. The cop appears
to hear me and comes around the corner and shoots the shooter. He
goes down. The cop kicks his
weapon further away. I sprint up to the
downed female cop. Another captain (I think he was with me behind
the cars) comes up as well.
She's bleeding profusely out of her thigh.
We take our belts off and tourniquet her just like we've been trained (I
hope we did it right...we didn't
have any CLS (combat lifesaver) bags with their
awesome tourniquets on us, so we worked with what we had). Meanwhile,
in the most bizarre
moment of the day, a photographer was standing
over us taking pictures. I suppose I'll be seeing those tomorrow.
Then a soldier came up and
identified himself as a medic. I then realized
her weapon was lying there unsecured (and on "fire"). I stood over
it and when I saw a cop yelled
for him to come over and secure her weapon (I
would have done so but I was worried someone would mistake me for a bad
guy). I then went
over to the shooter. He was unconscious.
A Lt Colonel was there and had secured his primary weapon for the time
being. He also had a revolver.
I couldn't believe he was one of ours. I
didn't want to believe it. Then I saw his name and rank and realized
this wasn't just some specialist with
mental issues. At this point there was
a guy there from CID and I asked him if he knew he was the shooter and
had him secured. He said he did.
I then went over the slaughter house. the
medical SRP building. No human should ever have to see what that
looked like. and I won't tell you.
Just believe me. Please. there was
nothing to be done there. Someone then said there was someone critically
wounded around the corner.
I ran around (while seeing this floor to ceiling
window that someone had jumped through movie style) and saw a large African-American
lying on his back with two or three soldiers
attending. I ran up and identified two entrance wounds on the right
side of his stomach, one exit wound
on the left side and one head wound. He
was not bleeding externally from the stomach wounds (though almost certainly
internally) but was bleeding
from the head wound. A soldier was using
a shirt to try and stop the head bleeding. He was conscious so I
began talking to him to keep him so.
He was 42, from North Carolina , he was named
something Jr., his son was named something III and he had a daughter as
well. His children lived
with him. He was divorced. I told
him the blubber on his stomach saved his life. He smiled.
a young soldier in civvies showed up and identified
himself as a combat medic. We debated whether
to put him on the back of a pickup truck. A doctor (well, an audiologist)
showed up and said
you can't move him, he has a head wound.
we finally sat tight. I went back to the slaughterhouse. they
weren't letting anyone in there. not even medics.
finally, after about 45 minutes had elapsed some
cops showed up in tactical vests. someone said the TBI building was
They headed into there. All of a sudden
a couple more shots were fired. People shouted there was a second
shooter. a half hour later
the SWAT showed up. there was no second
shooter. that had been an impetuous cop apparently. but that
confused things for a while.
meanwhile I went back to the shooter. the
female cop had been taken away. a medic was pumping plasma into the
shooter. I'm not proud
of this but I went up to her and said "this is
the shooter, is there anyone else who needs attention...do them first".
she indicated everyone else
living was attended to. I still hadn't
seen any EMTs or ambulances. I had so much blood on me that
people kept asking me if I was ok.
but that was all other people's blood.
eventually (an hour and a half to two hours after the shootings) they
started landing choppers.
they took out the big African American guy and
the shooter. I guess the ambulatory wounded were all at the SRP building.
Everyone else in my area was dead.
I suppose the emergency responders were told there
were multiple shooters. I heard that was the delay with the choppers
(they were all
civilian helicopters). they needed a secure
LZ. but other than the initial cops who did everything right, I didnt'
see a lot of them for a while.
I did see many a soldier rush out to help their
fellows/sisters. there was one female soldier, I don't' know her
name or rank but I would
recognize her anywhere who was everywhere helping
people. a couple people, mainly civilians, were hysterical, but only
one civilian freaked out when I tried to comfort
her when she saw my uniform. I guess she had seen the shooter up
close. a lot of
soldiers were rushing out to help even when we
thought there was another gunman out there. this Army is not broken
no matter what
the pundits say. not the Army I saw.
and then they kept me for a long time to come. oh, and perhaps the
most surreal thing, at 1500
(the end of the workday on Thursdays) when the
bugle sounded we all came to attention and saluted the flag. in the
middle of it all.
this is what I saw. it can't have been
real. but this is my small corner of what happened.
I wasn't there, I don't know if this is real
It's well-written in that a person with writing
ability wrote it, but I can't be sure the writer was there.
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