In this image made from Associated Press Television video, police...

In this image made from Associated Press Television video, police respond Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, at the scene at the U.S. Army base in Fort Hood Texas where a soldier opened fire, unleashing a stream of gunfire that left at least 12 people dead and at least 31 wounded. Authorities killed the gunman. Credit: AP video image

Lt. Col. Larry Masullo, a native of Farmingdale, was about to go into a meeting Thursday at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.

Then he heard a gunman had opened fire on the sprawling U.S. Army base in Killeen, Texas.

"We got word that we were going to be getting multiple victims," said Masullo, 46, an emergency medicine physician, and acting emergency room chief. "I literally ran back to the emergency room."

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist upset about his imminent deployment, killed 13 people and wounded 29 others, authorities said.

Masullo, a 1981 graduate of Farmingdale High School, said his emergency room treated 23 wounded, assessing the injuries seconds after they arrived by ambulance, and sending the most critical patients for immediate surgery.

"I never left the emergency room" after patients started arriving, Masullo said by telephone from Texas yesterday.

An Iraq veteran, Masullo said the death toll might have been higher had it not been that "90 percent" of the doctors and nurses at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center had been tested in combat.

"I've had this experience," Masullo said, recalling once having to treat an onslaught of 30 wounded soldiers at a combat support hospital in northern Iraq. "I relied on my training."

With the spotlight on the base after the shooting, Masullo himself hasn't escaped it. Television interviews have beamed his image around the world.

The married father of two has had interviews with 20 news organizations about the tragedy.

"It's unfortunate that you get your 15 minutes of fame for such a horrible event," Masullo said.

There were also calls from those concerned about his safety. "I'm getting phone calls, e-mails, text - people I haven't talked to in years," he said. "They're all saying. 'How you doing? Hope you're OK.' "

It was 1986 when Masullo, a graduate of SUNY Oneonta, left Long Island for Texas. The Mets fan recalled that fall because his baseball team was in the World Series. He watched as the Mets completed their victory over the Red Sox while in the Lone Star state.

"When you're in Texas, any New York team . . . you root for," Masullo said.

Masullo said he and his base staff are trying to return life at Fort Hood to normal, re-establishing a routine, including night shifts in the emergency room. But that the perpetrator is part of his Fort Hood community - and a doctor - remains troubling.

"The hardest part is that the shooter was a fellow physician," Masullo said. "It's kind of hard to deal with."

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

LI unemployment rate up . . . Day trip to Ocean Beach . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

LI unemployment rate up . . . Day trip to Ocean Beach . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

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