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Slain Grand Forks Air Force Base airman pointed gun at police

GRAND FORKS — The military has revealed more about the fatal shooting of an airman by Grand Forks Air Force Base security in July.

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hullman, 36, was drunk and confronting military police with a handgun when he was killed, according to Linda Card, a spokeswoman with the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigation.

She said Thursday in emails responding to inquiries that OSI’s investigation is complete but has not been reviewed and approved, which may take a week or two.

Hullman, a public health inspector at the base, has been mentioned in news reports after a soldier went on a shooting rampage Wednesday at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, killing four including himself.

But the situation in Grand Forks “feels different to me than a situation like at Fort hood, where it’s someone randomly opening fire on a group of individuals,” said Randy Nedegaard, a retired Air Force psychologist who has served at the Grand Forks base.

Card’s emails gave the first official Air Force confirmation of accounts given last July by Grand Forks County law enforcement officials who were knowledgeable about the incident.

“Hullman threatened to shoot himself as he held the gun to his own head in front of witnesses before police arrived,” she said. “He didn’t fire any shots at anyone, but he did point the weapon at law enforcement officials and threatened them when they arrived. He refused to put his weapon down after being told numerous times by the law enforcement officials to do so ... before he was fatally shot by a base security policeman.”

A blood test done on Hullman’s body found a blood-alcohol content of 0.274 grams of ethanol per deciliter of blood, Card said. That’s 3.4 times the legal limit for driving of 0.08 BAC.

Base spokesman Timothy Flack said Hullman had recently returned from deployment overseas when the incident occurred.

Hullman had been stationed in Grand Forks since 2009 and was about three years from retirement. One of his former commanders escorted his body back to Shenandoah, Iowa, where he grew up.