Sgt. Lori Singer-Bare was with 178th Military Police Detachment, 89th MP brigade, on April 2, 2014, and about 20 feet from Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez when the deadly incident came to a conclusion. Lopez-Lopez, having already shot and killed Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Michael Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens while wounding a dozen others at multiple locations on base, walked toward Singer-Bare, identifying himself as the shooter and telling the 4-foot-11 MP to kill him.
Seconds later, Lopez-Lopez pulled his pistol from the waistband of his Army Camouflage Uniform and shot himself in the head, just as Singer-Bare fired her weapon.
The Salem, Ohio, native credited multiple types of training for her actions, including work with a special reaction team and active-shooter drills that took on special meaning at Fort Hood in the wake of the 2009 shooting that left 13 dead — an event that took place shortly after Singer-Bare joined the Army.
She accepted the award in the memory of the three fallen soldiers, with a combined 50 years of service.
"It's a humbling experience," she said.
Singer-Bare found out nearly a year before the May ceremony that she'd earned the Soldier's Medal. She transferred to Fort Leonard Wood in January, and although her former detachment commander couldn't make the trip for the presentation, he praised her instincts and her bravery.
"I can say without a doubt, the actions of Sgt. Singer-Bare saved lives that day," Capt. Michael McQueeney said in a news release on the ceremony. "Her ability to respond without hesitation is what stopped this threat. She knew the risk when she responded, but that didn't stop her."
Sgt. Lori Singer-Bare makes her point during integration at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, earlier this year.
Photo Credit: Army
A promotable sergeant with Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Division, 3rd Chemical Brigade, Singer-Bare recently graduated from the Noncommissioned Officers Academy Advanced Leaders Course and has plans to apply for Officer Candidate School. But for now, she's enjoying her current job.
"I absolutely love being a drill sergeant," she said in a Thursday interview. "I take a lot of pride in the soldiers who come through."
She's set to welcome her second cycle of trainees on Monday.
Sgt. George Long received the Soldier's Medal early last month at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for his role in protecting fellow soldiers from Lopez-Lopez during the incident. When he and Ferguson heard shots outside their conference room during a staff meeting, they rushed to close the door between the room and the shooter. Ferguson got the door closed, but Lopez-Lopez shot through it, killing him.
"In my view, the main hero that day was Sgt. 1st Class Ferguson," Long told Army Times in April. "I was just trying to back him up."
The Army's investigation into the shooting found Lopez-Lopez had argued with personnel staffers in his unit before the shootings began. Investigators said his Army records didn't offer any early warning signs, but that he had been treated for depression and other behavioral health conditions, and faced at least $14,000 in delinquent debt.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.