Ft. Hood hero has NC ties

November 6, 2009 3:48:08 PM PST
The woman who shot a gunman on a rampage at Fort Hood Texas Thursday is the daughter of former Carolina Beach Mayor Dennis Barbour. She's also married to a Fort Bragg soldier.Fort Hood officials said Kimberly Munley fired on suspect Nidal Malik Hasan just three minutes after the gunfire erupted and that her efforts ended the crisis. Munley was wounded and was recovering Friday at a hospital.

"It was an amazing and aggressive performance by this police officer," Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said Friday.

Munley, a civilian, saw the suspect and started firing at him. Munley's boss, Chuck Medley, told The Associated Press on Friday that Hasan then spun around and charged at her with a gun in each hand.

Medley says Munley shot the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, in the upper torso, allowing officers to take him into custody. Medley says in the exchange of gunfire, Munley was shot in the thighs and wrist.

The 35-year-old Munley is originally from Pennsylvania. ABC 11 Eyewitness News found her on Twitter. She has not posted anything since July, but her bio reads:

I live a good life....a hard one, but I go to sleep peacefully @ night knowing that I may have made a difference in someone's life.

Munley's stepmother said Friday the woman's heroics are not surprising. Wanda Barbour told The Star-News of Wilmington that she knew Munley was involved when she heard a female officer at Fort Hood had shot and wounded Hasan.

"We're just so grateful and thankful to the Lord that she's safe," Barbour said. "Our hearts just ache for the loss of others, too, and hers, too. She's still upset about that."

Barbour told the newspaper she and her husband are heading to Texas.

Wrightsville Beach Police Chief John Carey said Munley, who worked for the force from 2000 to 2002 before moving away from the area, was a petite officer who worked well with others.

"She was a very personable officer. She got along good with everyone," he said. "She wasn't afraid of anything."

Carey said Munley joined the force in March 2000 as a reserve officer. She later became a permanent employee in fall of that year.

"She was a good shot," Carey said of Munley's shooting and training. "Her abilities and the training that she got here hopefully had a lot to do with preparing her for that situation."

Carey said several of his officers, who have kept in touch with Munley over the years, spoke with her earlier Friday. He said everyone on the force is proud.

"I think everybody here is," he said. "We're just thankful she was able to intervene."

Dave Spencer, principal at John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington, said he knew Munley as a student athlete who was involved in several academic and community service-oriented clubs before graduating in 1993.

"She was just a very well-rounded student athlete," Spencer said of Munley's participation in volleyball and softball. "She's the type of kid that stands out, even 16, 17 years later."

Spencer said the school will briefly honor Munley during a football match against a rival team Friday night.

"Anyone is going to be surprised when they know someone who takes such a heroic step," he said. "But if you remember the kind of young person she was, you could easily understand it."

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