U.S. News


Altercation, Time Off Request Blamed For Fort Hood Shooting

Authorities say an escalated argument could have lead to alleged Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez's rampage Wednesday, which killed three and wounded 16.
Posted at 9:17 PM, Apr 04, 2014

Authorities are still looking for a motive behind Wednesday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood.

Alleged shooter Ivan Lopez's rampage left three people dead and 16 wounded before the killer turned the gun on himself. So far, ten of the injured have been released from the hospital. (Via CBS)

The father of one wounded soldier told WLBT the shooting began after Lopez tried to apply for leave.

"When one of the officers told the man to come back the next day to pick that form up, the man left, than returned with a gun and opened fire."

Before his posting at Fort Hood, Lopez served for nine years with the Puerto Rican National Guard, and spent four months in Iraq in 2011. He saw no combat during his tour in Iraq, but reported a traumatic brain injury to authorities on his return. (Via ABC)

CNN notes Lopez purchased the Smith and Wesson .45 caliber handgun used in the shooting on Mar. 1, along with a lot of extra ammo. "He went back to that store to purchase more ammo throughout the month of March."

And Fox News Latino reports that on the same day he bought the gun, Lopez posted an ominous Facebook message in Spanish. It reads: "I have just lost my inner peace, full of hatred, I think this time the devil will take me."

While it's still unknown what might have triggered Wednesday's shooting, some outlets suggest several recent losses in Lopez's life are to blame.

As  WTOL reports, a family friend says Lopez's mother suddenly passed away in November, which might have triggered something. "So much grief, he said, might have set off a detonator in Lopez."

Lopez's mental health has also been raised as a possible cause — he's been treated for anxiety and depression, and was being evaluated for PTSD. In a statment, Lopez's father said "My son must not have been in his right mind, he wasn't like that." (Via NBC)

But in a press conference Friday, Fort Hood commander Mark Milley told reporters that investigators are focusing on the altercation prior to the shooting as the immediate cause, rather than mental health issues.

"His underlying medical conditions are not a precipitating factor. We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in his unit area." (Via Fox News)

Fort Hood officials released the names of the fallen soldiers Friday afternoon. They are Sgt. Danny Ferguson, Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney, and Sgt. Timothy Owens.