The story of the heroism shown the day a Muslim Army psychiatrist turned Fort Hood into a killing field is stunning.
Retired National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Michael Grant Cahill, who had undergone heart surgery weeks earlier, tried to stop it.
He rushed to Maj. Nidal Hasan and tried to knock him down with a chair. Hasan shot him.
Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was in charge of the medical processing center last Nov. 5, was one of several witnesses who described in detail what happened. Lunsford, a combat medic, was seriously wounded, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Lunsford and others testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing that will determine whether Hasan is tried. His defense is likely to be that he was insane.
Speaking of Cahill, Lunsford said,“He’s holding the chair by its legs over his (Hasan's) head. Major Hasan at that time turns his weapon at Cahill and shoots him.”
Cahill was the only civilian among the 13 killed.
Cahill, 62, had suffered a heart attack two weeks prevously and returned to work afer taking just one week off, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“He survived that. He was getting back on track, and he gets killed by a gunman,” said his daughter, Keely Vanacker.
Hasan, who shouted Allahu Akbar (God is Great), was shot by Fort Hood police and is paralyzed from his wounds. He apparently launched his killing spree as a result of being ordered to deploy to combat zones.
He wounded nearly three dozen soldiers and civilian staff.