Former Fayetteville police officer killed in Afghanistan attack

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Fayetteville police officer killed
Walt Fisher, former Fayetteville police officer, killed in an attack in Afghanistan.

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Four U.S. contractors killed or wounded in a Taliban attack on Afghanistan's Kabul airport worked for a Fayetteville-based firm. Among those killed Thursday was a former Fayetteville police officer.

Retired Fayetteville Police Chief Ron Hansen, colleagues, and friends confirmed Walt Fisher was among this week's causalities. Fisher served on the force throughout the 90s and early 2000s. He left about a decade ago to transition into government contracting, said another former colleague.

"He was one of mine," said Ron Hansen. "He was a good guy, and a damn shame he had to die like he did."

Fisher died alongside two other contractors and an Afghan-national in a shooting attack that happened early Thursday evening. The attack took place in the military section of the North Kabul International Airport. A single gunman killed them.

A fourth U.S. contractor was wounded in the attack. The contractors all work for Fayetteville-based Praetorian Standard, Inc. a firm specializing in global security and operational support.

On Friday, the company released a statement confirming the deceased and wounded contractors worked for them in Afghanistan while supporting the efforts of the U.S. Government.

"This was a terrible day for the families involved, our company and the United States," the statement read. "We are shocked by the tragic nature of these deaths and offer our deepest condolences to the families of these brave men."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said the Taliban fighter had infiltrated the ranks of Afghan forces to stage the attack and wore an Afghan police uniform.

The Afghan official, who is with the Defense Ministry, said the attacker was in an Afghan army uniform. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

"That's the same thing they say whenever it happens," Hansen shook his head. "'It wasn't an Afghan soldier. It was somebody that stole the uniform. But that's just me... I don't believe it."


Hansen spoke about the deep network of former local law enforcement personnel turned government contractors and the underlying feeling about working in Afghanistan.

"Some of them told me they felt that internally that it was about time they got out of there, and some do," he said. "But I think Walt stayed... perhaps too long."

Hansen has fond memories of a skilled officer, who former colleague Lynne Greene described as a "gentle giant."

Greene provided a picture to ABC11 featuring the police department's Roll'RZ band, which travels around to area schools entertaining children and staff. In the 1990s, Fisher volunteered as the sound man who had no problem picking up equipment with his large, burly frame.

"They nicknamed him 'Rody,'" laughed Hansen. "They say 'Wait for the Rody, wait 'til Walt gets here' and Walt would pick up these speakers. He was just a big, friendly guy always willing to do the job."

Via email with former colleagues turned contractors, Hansen and the group often acknowledged overseas deployments.

"A lot of times it's just kind of over a group email, just "Hey, how you doing? Be safe, keep your head down.'"

It's an exchange he'll no longer have with Fisher.

"There are many that return after a number of years, and I'll recall talking to one recently who said 'I just had a bad feeling. It was time for me to leave [Afghanistan].' So he left," said Hansen. "And they make good money, but the risk is tough."

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