A Fort Leavenworth hospital employee allegedly set his supervisor on fire and attempted to stab her in a brutal attack on Wednesday, according to a court document.
Clifford Currie, 54, is accused of assaulting his supervisor, 1st Lt. Katie Ann Blanchard, at Munson Army Health Center around 5 p.m., according to several witnesses. Currie was charged with one count of assault with intent to commit murder, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Blanchard was said to have been severely injured, with her face covered in blood and substantial burns. One witness said that as Currie was being subdued, an injured Blanchard screamed. "I told you this would happen!"
Multiple witnesses said that prior to the attack, Blanchard had expressed discomfort with Currie. She always wanted another employee with her when she counseled Currie, who had allegedly been resistant to supervision. Currie worked as the Assistant Exceptional Family Member Program Coordinator according to a Regional Health Command Central spokesperson, and had worked at Munson since September, 2012.
The first witness on the scene of the attack, Deanne Michele Kilian, responded to a loud, screaming-like noise in Blanchard's office and found Blanchard "on fire from the chest up," according to the report by an FBI agent investigating the case. Kilian smelled gasoline, or something like it, and the agent concluded an unknown accelerant was used.
Kilian tried to put out the flames and she and Blanchard ended up in the hallway. The two continued to struggle as other witnesses arrived to help put out the flames and subdue Currie, according to the court documents.
Currie was at various points yelling at Blanchard, holding scissors in one hand and a straight-edged razor in the other, and trying to hit or stab his ignited boss with scissors while he had his foot on her throat, according to various witness statements. Another witness saw Currie punch Blanchard with his fist before going to his office and coming out with the scissors.
Spokespeople at Fort Leavenworth and Southern Regional Medical Command in San Antonio deferred all other questions to the FBI. The FBI had no comment beyond information in the press release from the Office of the U.S. Attorneys and the criminal complaint.