Lance Corporal Murfitt – from Barnstaple in Devon and known to Army mates as ‘Murf’ – picks up the story:Head on over to read the rest of the story.
“It had been a pretty standard patrol but, when the call came in and we were re-tasked, we were told to get in there fast and provide support. I was in the rear half of my Troop Sergeant’s vehicle ready to give precision fire with my rifle, and the driver stepped on it to get there as quickly as possible.
“Our arrival, with our heavy firepower, seemed to bring the fight to an end fairly quickly, but we stayed alert. Everything was quiet, but then I spotted three men with a child on a compound roof, about 300 yards to the front of the vehicles.
“Suddenly two of the men moved off, leaving one man with the child – it was a girl, no more than 10-years-old. At this point I realised something was wrong – the man picked up a rifle and moved behind the child, taking aim at me.”
LCpl Murfitt immediately told his commander that he could identify a possible insurgent who was using a child as a shield and taking aiming at his vehicle. He was faced by a dilemma: he could protect himself and engage the insurgent but, if he did that, he could not guarantee that the child would be unhurt. Making a split-second call, ‘Murf’ took the decision to wait.
LCpl Murfitt continued:
“I knew I could take him down but, being a dad myself, I didn’t want to run the risk of killing a kid and undoing all the good work we’ve achieved. So I waited, hoping that the child would drop down and give me a clear shot.”
But then, as he was waiting for the moment to strike without putting the girl’s life at risk, the insurgent fired a single shot – it struck LCpl Murfitt on the left hand side of his helmet knocking him to the floor.
Hat tip Scott.