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Media Fail: 2nd Cop, not Kimberly Munley, Brought Down Ft. Hood Shooter

The media again uncritically repeated the military's account.
 
 
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On Friday, the New York Times ran an interview with Sgt. Mark Todd, the police officer who, contrary to previous reports, ended the Fort Hood rampage by shooting Nidal Hasan.

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.

Over at Editor and Publisher, Greg Mitchell chides the media for once again buying a story of singular heroism by a sympathetic individual without independently confirming the account.

First, it was the "death" of Major Hasan, not corrected for many hours. Then, for days, the story of how a female cop brought down the shooter, even as she was receiving serious wounds. Yet I noticed just hours after the attack that scattered eyewitnesses, via the Web and Twitter, were saying that the killer re-loaded after Sgt. Kimberly Munley went down.

How could he have done that if she had just plugged him four times, supposedly ending the rampage? Some of those witnesses said they yelled at the second cop to shoot Hasan--which he did, and then went up and kicked his gun away...

Most news outlets for days labeled Munley "the" (singular) Fort Hood hero. She was the "Mighty Mouse." It wasn't until two days ago that Sgt.Todd got feature billing, although in a secondary role. Now, in the past day, he is finally getting his due as the original account begins to fall away. The cop most responsible for saving the day, it turns out, is a black man, not a white woman.

We recommend reading Mitchell's whole piece here.

 
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