HARTFORD - Stamford Police Officer Frank Chiafari, who fatally shot a chimp that mauled a woman last year, spoke publicly about the incident for the first time Thursday.

Chiafari testified at the state Capitol during a hearing about changing the states worker?s compensation system to allow for benefits for police officers that shoot an animal in the line of duty.

Chiafari was one of the first on the scene as the chimp, named Travis, mauled Charla Nash.

"I came this close to getting ripped apart myself,? said Chiafari. ?I had no choice but to shoot this thing. I don't even remember the gunshots going off."

He went on to speak about how it affected him. "I'd be walking in the mall and see women without faces,? said Chiafari. ?That's how bad it got."

Chiafari says he was inspired to act after he got turned down for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.