ZANJILI, MOSUL--For a moment, I thought it was a misfire. The soldier standing in the doorway thought so too.
But after the shortest of pauses - a second or two, no more - that first shot was followed by the long, loud crackling of an automatic burst.
As I slammed my helmet onto my head I saw Sgt. First Class David Neuzil raise his rifle and open fire outside the open doorway. After a few seconds the ear-splitting buzz of sustained fire from American rifles was the only sound. And then the shouts for medics.