Who is Fort Hood shooter Spc. Ivan Lopez?

Fort Hood Scene

The man who opened fire at the Fort Hood military post in Texas was a veteran who served four months in Iraq and was undergoing treatment for mental health issues.

Spc. Ivan Lopez, married with a young child, moved to the post in Killeen in February from another military installation. He was also part of the National Guard in Puerto Rico, National Guard spokeswoman Ruth Diaz said Thursday.

Authorities don’t know what prompted the shooting spree Wednesday, where Lopez, 34, killed three people and wounded 16 — before fatally shooting himself.

There aren’t indications that this was a terrorist act, but officials said they won’t rule anything out until the investigation is over.

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post’s commanding general, told reporters late Wednesday there were reports of an argument.

“Obviously, we are digging deep into his background, any criminal or psychiatric history, his experiences in combat. All of the things you would expect us to do are being done right now.”

Based on publicly released details, interviews with neighbors and conversations with law enforcement and other sources, here’s what we know so far about Lopez:

Combat history:

He served for four months in Iraq in 2011. “He was not wounded, according to our records,” Milley said. However, Lopez “self-reported” suffering a traumatic brain injury while deployed, he said.

Medical history:

Lopez suffered from depression, anxiety and other psychiatric complaints and was receiving treatment and medication. He was going through the process required to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder. “He was not diagnosed, as of today, with PTSD,” Milley said. That process takes time.

Work history:

Lopez was transferred to Fort Hood from another unnamed base in February. He was assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command, which deals with the logistical responsibilities for the post. (It was one of two unit buildings where Lopez opened fire.)

Retired Army Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks expressed surprise at the transfer. Lopez should have remained at the other base for continuity of care, he said.

Lopez was not in the process of being transitioned out of the military, Milley said.

At one time, he was part of the National Guard in Puerto Rico, but he left the guard to join the U.S. Army, National Guard spokeswoman Ruth Diaz said Thursday.

Family history:

He was married and had a daughter, around 3 years old. Just over a week ago, the family moved into an apartment complex close to the base.

Neighbor Xanderia Morris described the Lopez family as a “typical, average family.”

“They would smile whenever they’d see someone,” she said.

After the news of the shooting broke on television, the wife came out crying. “She said ‘I’m just worried, I’m just worried,'” Morris said. “I tried to console her and comfort her, let her know everything was OK.”

When television reports identified the shooter as Lopez, the wife was “hysterical,” the neighbor said.

She was taken from the apartment by law enforcement officials, and was cooperating, an FBI source told CNN.

Gun used:

Lopez used a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol that he recently purchased in the area, Milley said. He didn’t know how much ammunition Lopez was carrying.

“If you have weapons and you’re on base, it’s supposed to be registered on base,” Milley said. “This weapon was not registered on base.”

Motive:

That’s the big unknown.

“There’s no indication that this incident is related to terrorism, although we are not ruling anything out and the investigation continues,” Milley said.

Could it have been an argument? “There are initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas, but no indication of an argument at the WTU,” Milley said. WTU is the acronym for the Warrior Transition Command, where wounded, ill and injured soldiers are taught resilience skills.

He also couldn’t say whether Lopez knew his victims.

9 comments

  • TrueReligion

    Seriously, this statement was stated – “If you have weapons and you’re on base, it’s supposed to be registered on base,” Milley said. “This weapon was not registered on base.”…..what a joke! As if a drug dealer is supposed to go and apply for a small business permit to sell drugs!
    Our own military is corrupt and we think they are there to protect and serve! Get every single person out of the military and by God, please dont join one….you will be messed up for life and never be the same after serving in this day and age…it is nothing like it used to be where it was true American hero’s, but now its a corrupt and will only get worse. Military killing their own military= INSANE

    • A_Marina

      Are you serious? Get every single person out of the military? You cannot be serious !
      It’s because of our men and women that protect our freedom that you can sit there and say that. The military is not corrupt, people are corrupt. From politicians to priest.

      • TrueReligion

        as I have said before….you are a ‘sheep’….believe what you want, but our military no longer protects our freedom…they are out their protecting foreign countries more than they do our own. Not their fault, but the governments fault for trying to corrupt other countries and allowing our own to be even more corrupt. Military back in the day was for freedom, but nowadays, its to party and drink to you pass out type people and the word freedom has been long gone from the US!

    • FaithC

      How dare you sit in your comfortable home with your freedom of speech that if it was not for our military you would not have and bash the military!

      My son-in-law served in the marines, he enlisted and served proudly!! So we could all enjoy the freedoms we have.
      I respect our military and all the men and woman serving in it. If you don’t, move to another country and let us know how that works for you!!

      • TrueReligion

        ‘Sheep’…thats the only word to describe people like you. Our military gave us freedom when it was in jeopardy years ago. The military now is all about protecting other countries and having these soldiers be sent overseas to protect another country when they should all be here to protect their own country in this country! Let these rag heads blow themselves up and wipe them off the map instead of blowing up our own soldiers! Military back then was awesome, but nowadays its a big drinking fest and kids going their to get away from families to be able to hold a weapon…maybe if the military had a presence in its own country and not others, then maybe the US would be safe. Our military protects other countries, not ours!

  • WeBuiltThisCountry

    I have to agree with you true Religion. Our military has changed. I recently spent some time in fayetteville nc because of work.Every where i turned i saw drunk military personal. Also while I was down there me and my wife noticed that they EXPECT special treatment. There are drunks,drug dealers,rapest and gang members in our military today. People join for the money and benefits now.

  • AJ

    It’s sad to see how poorly our military is treated when they come back from overseas. We don’t know what they see other there. For all we know they could be making people doing horrible them. It’s just sad that they don’t have the mental help they need and this is what causes them to go on rampages. They said in his article he was derpressed, why didn’t they give him the mental help he needed? They all could of been advoided. My heart goes out to the whole base and everyone who was affected by this.

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