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Posts tagged: Dean Mellberg

Andy Brown: Helping the other survivors of the Mellberg rampage

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Spin Control note: Today’s newspaper column has items recast from last week. For regular Web readers, however, here’s a profile that’s a hopeful update for the 16th anniversary of one Spokane’s biggest tragedies.

A psychotic gunman made Andy Brown into a hero 16 years agocq june 20.
He became a legend, the guy who made “the shot” that stopped Dean Mellberg’s murderous rampage through the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital complex on June 20, 1994. Brown He got a medal and a move to Hawaii.
But the mantle of hero never sat comfortably on Brown, who was a 24-year-old Air Force security policeman on bike patrol that day. It gnawed at him that Mellberg was able to kill and maim people on his watch. Months later, Brown found himself struggling with so much anxiety that his hands would shake when making a routine traffic stop.
He knew he needed help, but discovered a Catch-22 that military police officers face: He could have counseling for post-traumatic stress symptoms only if he turned in his badge and gun.
“I stopped seeking counseling. I pretty much stuffed down any feelings I was starting to have.”
They didn’t stay stuffed down and eventually Brown, who’d hoped to have a career in military law enforcement, left the Air Force with a medical disability. Now he’s trying to help other law enforcement officers avoid the same fate, keep connected with some of the other survivors and understand what caused Mellberg to snap.
He’s started a website and is working on a book…
For the rest of the story, go inside the blog

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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