In Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood Army base, gunman Ivan Lopez might’ve attacked his victims out of frustration because he could barely attend his mom’s funeral.
34-year-old Lopez killed three fellow soldiers and wounded 16 more before killing himself in a shooting spree that many who knew him called unexpected. Lopez’s neighbors in Texas described him, a soldier who'd served in Iraq and was most recently a military driver, as “a nice, family guy.” He was married with a three-year-old daughter and several more children, including a teenage daughter, in his native Puerto Rico.
Privately, Lopez had been examined for post traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, reports the Daily News. Lopez’s last visit with a military psychiatrist in March didn’t show any signs of homicidal or suicidal tendencies, according to the Army. However, he was taking multiple drugs, including Ambien, for his mental troubles and yet he was still able to purchase a $579 gun from a Guns Galore store in Killeen, Texas. This is the same store where the last Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, purchased his own killing machine back in 2009.
Now, Army investigators may’ve concluded that Lopez was driven to riddle Fort Hood with bullets because the military wouldn’t immediately grant him leave to bury his mother who died of a heart attack in November. However military official Lt. Gen. Mark Milley says he’s not sure if “Lopez was nursing a grudge against the military after the Army initially refused to give him leave last November for his mother’s funeral.” But Lopez was eventually given a 24-hour pass to attend his mother's funeral. Another lead suggests that a soldier may've stolen something from Lopez that drove him to shoot, however military officials say they don't believe his gun rampage targeted anyone in particular.
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On Wednesday, the day of the shooting, Lopez's neighbor said she saw him on the way to his car and they exchanged pleasantries like any other normal day. But his wife knew something was amiss; when news broke of the shooting, the Daily News reports:
The woman walked out of her apartment in tears about 20 minutes before local police arrived and drove her away.
“She just said, ‘It was him. It was him,’ ” Morris recounted Thursday. “That was it. And she just kept crying.”
Image via AP.