Who does Hector Negron shoot in the post office in "Miracle at St. Anna"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the scene in the prologue, it appears that Hector is shooting an innocent customer in the face.  The customer appears at his window asking for a 20 cent stamp.  Hector shoots him in response.  It is not until the epilogue that the reader understands why this has happened.

The customer, you see, is actually Rudolfo, the Italian villager who betrays his peers and the African-American soldiers to the Germans and puts everyone's lives in danger.  Hector is the only one of his group to survive.  Rudolfo also remains protected and untouched at the time. 

The coming together of two men at the end, in the post office, is meant by McBride to be a signal of God's divine will and justice.  Like the arrival at the church during the German seige in St. Anna, the arrival of Rudolfo in Hector's post office is part of a larger plan.  God is giving Hector the chance to avenge his fallen comrades, and Hector seizes that opportunity without pause.