ROK Drop

Avatar of Leon LaPorteBy on July 17th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Police: Fort Hood soldier was gunman who killed officer

I am at Fort Hood this week so this is somewhat big news here at the moment. It is a tragedy for the friends and families of the policeman and the soldier. Why post it on ROKdrop, a blog focusing mainly on Korea? I think the story can teach us a lot and help us gain perspective of issues we have in Korea. But first, the article:

KILLEEN, TEXAS — Central Texas authorities have identified a Fort Hood soldier as the gunman who killed a police officer during an exchange of gunfire.

Killeen police said Tuesday that 24-year-old Dustin Cole was armed with an AK-47 assault weapon when he fatally shot officer Robert Hornsby, who died early Sunday morning.

Hornsby and other members of the police tactical team had responded to an apartment complex on complaints of an armed man threatening people at a pool. Police found Cole at his apartment and as they approached he backed into the apartment and began firing, killing Hornsby and injuring another officer. Cole also was killed.

The funeral for the 32-year-old Hornsby is scheduled for Thursday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

He was the married father of a 4-year-old and 1-year-old. [Army Times]

This is arguably a much more serious incident than anything which has occurred in Korea of late. What is interesting is what the article does not say and what has not happened here on the ground:

  • No mention of the MP’s responding to this off post incident.
  • No mention of MP’s, CID, or MPI investigating (or any other military law enforcement involvement in) this off post incident.
  • Fort Hood units are not on lock down.
  • No curfew has been established.

You will also note I have not involved myself in the investigation as I have no more law enforcement authority off installation than the MP’s do – just as it is in the sovereign country of the Republic of Korea.

It is about reaction and jurisdiction. USFK, area and installation commanders might take heed.


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  • Smokes
    7:24 pm on July 17th, 2013 1

    I’ve always appreciated the seperation between military authority and government authority for this very topic you bring up. The military is way too prone to stupid laws and I think the reason you don’t see the kind of assery we put up with OCONUS back in the states is because we’re too removed from the relevant media/public scrutiny that accompanies attempts to enforce draconian law.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:23 pm on July 18th, 2013 2

    STATUS UPDATE: If one were familiar with the US Army only through acquaintance with USFK, one would find the latest developments here at Fort Hood quite incomprehensible.

    So far,

    MP’s have not started patrolling off post in any capacity.
    Martial law has not been declared.
    Units have yet to be locked down.
    Curfew has still not been established, or even discussed!

    Everything appears to be business as usual. One troubled soldier did a stupid, terrible thing – off post outside military jurisdiction – and life goes on. Local civilian law enforcement seems to have things well in hand and are quite happy to do their job without military “assistance.”

    Also, there seems to be whores, underage drinking, and parking violations off post yet the military has yet to intercede at the behest of local civilian law enforcement.

    Perhaps the entire command staff of III Corps and Fort Hood need to come spend some time in Korea.

  • Mooseknuckle
    11:55 pm on July 18th, 2013 3

    When I was in the 82nd a couple stupid incidents happened and we had a Division-wide health and welfare. It lasted the entire day. The tipping point was an E5 in the barracks killed himself during a Friday night drinking session playing Russian roullette. The big difference was that these incidents happened on post though.

  • Liz
    5:00 am on July 19th, 2013 4

    There’s a difference when soldiers are stationed overseas.

    For example, if the offenders are touring South Korea (Italy, France, et al) as a civilian visitor, base command wouldn’t be involved. When they are stationed there, command is (largely) responsible for their conduct off base (part of the SOFA, designed to protect soldiers stationed overseas, depending on the nature of the justice system which can be anywhere from similar to ours to completely corrupt and arbitrary).

    Pretty sure you already knew this? I understand the frustration, but when soldiers are stationed overseas the command is held to a higher level of responsibility over their conduct.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:27 am on July 20th, 2013 5

    BREAKING STATUS UPDATE: It has been almost a week since the incident.

    MP’s have not started patrolling off post in any capacity.
    Martial law has not been declared.
    Units have yet to be locked down.
    Curfew has still not been established, or even discussed!

    In the meantime, I blame the US Army for all the prostitution, underage drinking and parking violations occurring in the Killeen and Coperass Cove areas. :roll:

    4. Liz that is understood (about overseas commands). However, like it or not – for better or worse, the commanders enforcement mechanism stops at the gate and does not extend downtown in any significant way.


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