ANOTHER DEADLY SHOOTING At Fort Hood, Soldier With 'Mental Health Issues' Wounds 16, Kills 3, And Then Himself

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Normal ANOTHER DEADLY SHOOTING At Fort Hood, Soldier With 'Mental Health Issues' Wounds 16, Kills 3, And Then Himself

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:08 pm

April 2, 2014


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The soldier who gunned down three people today at Fort Hood before killing himself was a combat veteran suffered from "mental issues" and was "under diagnosis" for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a Fort Hood commander said today.

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley told reporters said a motive has not been identified, but there is "no indication" the incident is related to terrorism, although investigators are not ruling anything out. In addition to the four deaths, 16 people were injured in the shooting.

Milley said the military has identified the gunman, but he declined to release the name until next of kin has been notified, per military protocol.

President Obama, speaking from Chicago in the shooting's aftermath, said he was "heartbroken" at news of the attack, considering Fort Hood was the site of a mass shooting targeting American soldiers in 2009.

"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again," Obama said.

Milley said the firearm used by the assailant was a semi-automatic .45 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. Law enforcement sources told ABC News the ATF is conducting an urgent trace of the gun, which is standard protocol in these types of incidents.

Authorities initially were concerned another shooter might be at large and a "shelter in place" order remained in effect after the shooting at the base in Killeen, Texas. An all-clear siren sounded several hours after the shooting, reopening Fort Hood.

PHOTOS: Shooting at Fort Hood

After the 2009 shooting, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted and received the death penalty in August 2013.

During Hasan's trial, he called himself a "mujahedeen," or Muslim holy warrior, and did not deny he was the shooter.

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Normal Re: ANOTHER DEADLY SHOOTING At Fort Hood, Soldier With 'Mental Health Issues' Wounds 16, Kills 3, And Then Himself

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:05 am

By Ben Brumfield, Dana Ford and Josh Rubin, CNN
updated 5:42 AM EDT, Thu April 3, 2014

4 dead,(3 victims and the shooter) 16 wounded in Fort Hood shooting

Killeen, Texas (CNN) -- Fort Hood.
Specialist Ivan Lopez went from one building at the sprawling Texas military base to a second, firing a .45 caliber handgun -- killing three people and wounding 16 more.

Then the 34-year-old Iraq vet put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, ending his life and taking with him the reasons for his action.
Authorities are downplaying terrorism -- although they haven't ruled it out until the investigation is complete.

"There are initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas," Lt. Gen Mark Milley, the post's commanding general, told reporters late Wednesday.

Officers picked up Lopez' wife at their apartment near the base in Killeen, and she was cooperating with law enforcement, an FBI official told CNN.

The man, whom a neighbor said often gave her a friendly wave, was plagued by multiple mental health issues.

Emotional torment
Lopez was new on the base, having only arrived there in February. He, his wife and their small daughter moved into their apartment a little more than a week before the shooting.

They were a normal couple, said neighbor Xanderia Morris. "They would smile whenever they'd see someone," she said.

But behind Lopez' smile lay intense emotional torment -- of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. He was receiving treatment and medication, Milley said.

He served for four months in Iraq in 2011. And while army records don't show him as having been wounded there, Lopez himself reported that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury, Milley said.

He was undergoing diagnosis procedures for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"He was not diagnosed, as of today, with PTSD," Milley said.
Arriving at the diagnosis of the mental ailment that plagues so many war veterans takes time.

Brought a gun
Lopez carried out the killings with a privately owned gun -- a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol he purchased after arriving in Killeen.

When he took it onto the base, he was breaking the rules.
"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."

In addition, people are not allowed to walk around with guns on a military base. They are required to store them in a secured armory.

Sequence of events
The exact sequence of events is not entirely clear. But around 4 p.m., Lopez walked into a building at the base and opened fire. He then got into a car, fired from the vehicle, walked into another building and fired again.

He killed three and wounded 16 -- all of them were army personnel.
Three of the wounded remained in critical condition early Thursday morning.

Authorities could not say whether Lopez knew his victims.

The shootings took place in the medical brigade and the transportation battalion buildings. Lopez was assigned to the 13th sustainment command, which deals with the logistical responsibilities for the post.

Lockdown
The spree went on for about 15 to 20 minutes, Milley said.
The base housing more than 45,000 soldiers and nearly 9,000 civilian employees went on lockdown.
People were told to shelter in place.
Pvt. Dehlan Kay stayed in his barrack, as sirens went off.
"I'm doing good," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I'm just a little nervous on what's happening."
The all-clear wouldn't go out for another six hours.

A horrifying revelation
At the Lopez apartment, his wife was watching reports of the shooting on TV.
She came out crying, said Morris, the neighbor.
"I'm just worried, I'm just worried," Lopez' wife told her. She hadn't heard from her husband all afternoon.
"I tried to console her and comfort her, let her know everything was OK," Morris said.
They had no idea who the shooter was at the time.
Then, a local TV station identified the gunman as Lopez.
The wife became "hysterical," Morris said.

Ending his life
It took law enforcement about 15 minutes to respond to the gunfire, Milley said.
An officer confronted Lopez in a parking lot.
He reached under his jacket for his pistol, and put it to his head. He fired. Death by self-inflicted gun shot wound.
"It was clearly heroic what she did," Milley said of the offier. "She did her job and she did exactly what we would expect of the U.S. military police."

The last mass shooter
Here, Lopez' actions differed from Fort Hood's last mass shooter.
Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan survived after killing 13 people and injuring another 32 on November 5, 2009.
The former military psychiatrist openly told a court that he was on a terrorist mission.
During a hearing in June he said that he fired at soldiers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan to protect leading members of the Taliban.
Hasan was convicted of premeditated murder, and a military jury recommended that he be put to death.
Not again
Reporters prodded Milley about the 2009 shooting and Lopez' rampage -- a repeat tragedy.
But he would not entertain the notion.
"My reaction was not 'not again here,'" he said. "My reaction was to immediately make sure we had a read on the casualties. Immediately secure the site. Immediately look for one or more shooters."
But others were more introspective.
"As a community, it's like you've been kicked in the gut. It can't be happening again," said Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin.
No community should have to experience such violence once, let alone twice, said John Cornyn, a U.S. senator from Texas.
"We're heartbroken something like this might have happened again," said President Obama, who was briefed by top defense and FBI leaders by phone while traveling on Air Force One.
Fort Hood has been resilient before, Gov. Rick Perry said. And it will again.

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Normal Guns Bought At The Same Shop In Both Fort Hood Shootings

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:31 pm



The soldier allegedly behind Wednesday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder and had seen no combat while deployed in Iraq three years ago.

And, this week's suspected shooter also bought his gun from the same place the 2009 Fort Hood shooter got his weapon.

Army officials Thursday afternoon identified the suspected murderer as Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a Puerto Rican father of three who authorities say had no record of misbehavior. Wednesday's tragedy at the Texas Army base left four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 injured.


"There was no indication that he was targeting specific people," said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Army's III Corps at Ford Hood, of Lopez. "We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition."



Milley also hinted at a motive for the shooting. "There may have been a verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers," he said."There is a strong possibility that that immediately preceded the shooting."

Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in the Nov. 5, 2009, attack there on his fellow soldiers as they waited inside a crowded building in Fort Hood. It remains the deadliest domestic military attack in U.S. history-- 13 died and more than 30 were wounded.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced the gun used in Wednesday's attack to a local gun shop last night, a federal law enforcement official who is not authorized to comment publicly said. The official confirmed that the gun had been purchased at Guns Galore, the same shop that sold a weapon to Hasan.




Lopez enlisted in the Army in June 2008 and served four months in Iraq as a truck driver.
"His records show no wounds, no involvement — direct involvement in combat," said Army Secretary John McHugh, the U.S. Army's top civilian official. "As Gen. (Mark) Milley said, no record of Purple Heart or any injury that might lead us to further investigate a battle-related TBI (traumatic brain injury) or such."
Milley said the Lopez had "self-diagnosed" a traumatic brain injury. "He was not wounded in action," Milley said.

Thursday, McHugh said the suspected shooter had two deployments, including the one in Iraq. Lopez enlisted as an infantryman and later switched his specialty to truck driver.

Lopez, who was on a variety of prescribed drugs including Ambien, had not yet been diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder. But he was also undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and a variety of other issues, McHugh said.

"He was seen just last month by a psychiatrist," McHugh said Thursday. "He was fully examined. And as of this morning, we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence, either to himself or to others. No suicidal ideation."

Officials had planned to continue to monitor and to treat Lopez as deemed appropriate.

Now, authorities are combing through the soldier's background but have not found any evidence that he was involved in extremist organizations.

The motive for the shooting remains a mystery. The National Counter Terrorism Center said that the attack is not linked to terrorism.

"He had a clean record in terms of his behavioral," McHugh said of the suspect. "No outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we are yet aware of."

Wednesday, Lopez allegedly used a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to carry out the attacks. Milley said the shooter walked into a building on the post and opened fire, then got into a car, fired more shots and then went to another building shooting before he was engaged by responding military police.

All those wounded and killed were military personnel.

Lopez joined National Guard in Puerto Rico in 1999. Later, he joined the Army and served one year on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. He was assigned to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss and transferred to the 154th Transportation Company in February at Fort Hood.

The suspect was assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). It's unclear when or where he was diagnosed with mental health issues.

Melissa Earle, an associate dean at the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work in New York City, cautions against assuming the suspect had PTSD, which doesn't necessarily increase the risk of violence. Traumatic brain injury, which emerged as a major concern during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is more closely tied to lack of impulse control than PTSD, she says.

Stereotyping those with PTSD as violent "could be a big setback to tens of thousands of U.S. vets with PTSD who are struggling for regular lives," Earle says.

Lopez lived off post and had recently purchased the gun used in the shooting. His wife was questioned Wednesday night. The couple are both natives of Puerto Rico.

Lopez had not been assigned to one of the Army Wounded Transition Units, military units that are set up to care for wounded, injured or ill soldiers. Those assigned to these units have case managers who help them track appointments and manage their medical treatments.

A commander who knows of a soldier with mental health issues living off base may require that servicemember to move to quarters on the post, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. Doing so would give the commander additional authority to deal with his or her issues, including registering weapons.

Pentagon regulations require troops who live off base to register weapons if they intend to bring them on to the installations, Warren said. Those weapons cannot be concealed and base security personnel conduct random checks to ensure compliance, he said.
"We try to do everything we can to encourage soldiers to register their personal weapons, even when they live off post," McHugh said. "We are not legally able to compel them to register weapons when they reside off post."

Soldiers who live on posts in base housing may also keep registered firearms. Soldiers in barracks must keep them in a locked arms room, Warren said.

The 2013 Defense Authorization Act requires military mental health professionals to ask troops if they own a weapon or plan to buy one. It's not yet clear if Lopez was asked about his firearms.

Mental health professionals in the military, along with commanders, have a duty to warn and protect others from potentially dangerous troops, Warren said.

However, Warren acknowledged that on a post like Fort Hood, with 40,000 soldiers, checking every vehicle is not practical.
A female soldier encountered the shooter in a parking lot, Milley said.

Lopez, dressed in combat fatigues, reached to pull out his weapon from under his jacket. The female soldier then pulled out her gun and "engaged" from about 20 feet away. He then put the gun to his head and fired.

McHugh said the investigation into the Hasan shooting revealed similar limitations in sharing of information as a soldier moves jobs and locations.

There are still difficulties in sharing information so that a commander is made aware of previous counseling or problems a soldier might have had at a previous posting, said Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

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