FORT HOOD, Texas – One of two civilian police officers who brought down the Army psychiatrist accused of going on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood said her wounds from the attack will cut short her career as street police officer.
Sgt. Kimberly Munley said doctors have told her she needs a total knee replacement, a surgery set for January, but that her new knee is likely to wear out sooner if she runs or carries the 15- to 25-pound gear pack required by her job.
"I do want to stay in law enforcement. I'm not going to be able to do what I did before, which is basically work the street," she told Wilmington, N.C., television station WECT on Wednesday. "It's going to give me another avenue to look in as far as possibly teaching and instructing."
Fort Hood officials said Thursday that Munley, 34, who was shot in the leg and hand, has not started the process to determine if she's physically able to do her former job.
Munley and Sgt. Mark Todd, another civilian officer in Fort Hood's police force, are credited with shooting Maj. Nidal Hasan to end the Nov. 5 shooting spree on the Texas Army post, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Todd, 42, was not injured and is already back at work.
Hasan remains hospitalized in a San Antonio military hospital but is paralyzed from his wounds, said his attorney John Galligan.
Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. Army officials have not said if they will seek the death penalty, but they plan an evaluation in the next 45 days to determine his mental state that day and whether he is competent to stand trial.
The Army Reserve unit that Hasan apparently was supposed to deploy with plans to leave for Afghanistan as scheduled early Friday, Fort Hood officials said Thursday. Three of the Madison, Wis.-based combat stress unit's 40 members were killed in the shooting. Six others who were seriously injured are not deploying.
The 467th Medical Detachment unit, which provides counseling and other mental health services for soldiers, had arrived at Fort Hood the day before the shooting. The U.S. Department of Defense decided just a few days ago that the unit would deploy on schedule, but the soldiers never wavered in their determination to go.
"They have an opportunity to be part of history, to do something that hasn't been done before," said 1st Sgt. James McLeod, one of the unit's leaders. "Even though we lost our fallen comrades ... `no one is going to stop us from completing our mission' is really what their goal is."
McLeod said all the soldiers in the unit would wear black bracelets etched with the names of the unit's three slain members, as well as the names of two soldiers killed from another stress combat unit.
Munley, in a posting on her blog, said she was lucky that she did not lose her leg, where a bullet hit an artery. She said she now has to use a wheelchair and walker, but "cannot complain one bit" because she feels she was given a second chance at life.
"I have addressed more or less every thought and emotion about what's happened to everyone else — the injured and the ones that did not make it and their families," Munley told the television station. "I can't tell you if I have any thoughts towards what he's done to me because I've been too overwhelmed with trying to come to terms with how everyone else has suffered through this."
Munley, who previously was in the Army, worked as a police officer in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., from 2000-02.