News / USA

Shooting Investigation at Fort Hood Focuses on Verbal Altercation

This undated image shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who shot three people April 2 before killing himself.
This undated image shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who shot three people April 2 before killing himself.
Greg Flakus
U.S. military officials say they have evidence that a verbal argument prompted 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez to open fire Wednesday on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas before taking his own life. The dead soldier's family says his mental illness, however, was to blame.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Chris Gray, told reporters that "credible information" indicates that Ivan Lopez "was involved in a verbal altercation with soldiers from his unit just prior to allegedly opening fire." Gray said he could not provide details about the argument since it is still under investigation, but he said that the gunman apparently had no specific targets after leaving the scene of the dispute.

"The subject then proceeded to travel to two other nearby buildings, entering those locations and opening fire. In transit to those locations, while in his personal vehicle, he indiscriminately fired at other soldiers while moving from one location to another," said Gray.

After being confronted by a female military police officer, Lopez then shot himself in the head. Gray said investigators may never know exactly why he did what he did.

Family members of Lopez released a statement saying that he had been under medical treatment. His father, Ivan Lopez, Sr., said what his son did Wednesday "was not like him." The elder Lopez said his son "must have been out of his mind."

Watch related video by VOA's Greg Flakus
 
Fort Hood Shooting Puts Focus Again on Mental Illnessi
X
Greg Flakus
April 04, 2014 9:14 PM
The tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, this week has drawn attention to the challenge of treating mental illness in the military and the misconceptions about mental afflictions in society as a whole. VOA's Greg Flakus spoke to one of the top U.S. experts on mental illness and filed this report from Houston.

The soldier was taking medication for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances and had asked for an evaluation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental affliction usually associated with the extreme stress or danger soldiers encounter in combat. Military doctors had not diagnosed that condition, and Lt. General Mark Milley said there is no evidence that Lopez was ever in such a situation while stationed for four months in Iraq in 2011.

"We are digging into his combat experience in Iraq and, so far, we have not discovered any specific traumatic event, wounds received in action, contact with the enemy, or anything else specific that he may have been exposed to while deployed," said Milley.

Milley also provided an update on the three soldiers killed, revealing their names -- Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez, Sergeant Timothy Owens and Sergeant First Class Danny Ferguson, who held a door shut and allowed others to escape before bullets hit him. He had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.

Investigators say they have interviewed more than 900 people to gather details of the crime scene.

Wednesday's attack was the second at the base since 2009 when an Army psychiatrist opened fire on fellow soldiers, killing 13.

Milley said all but six of the soldiers treated at area hospitals after the shooting Wednesday now have been released, and he described them as "resilient."

The continuing investigation of the shooting at Fort Hood involves about 150 law enforcement personnel from the military, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and local area police. They have established a basic timeline of what happened, but the biggest mystery remains the motive that drove Lopez to fire on his fellow soldiers.
 
  • Military personnel and civilians wait in a parking lot outside the Fort Hood military base for updates about the shooting that occurred inside, April 2, 2014.
  • Krystina Cassidy and Dianna Simpson attempt to make contact with their husbands who are stationed inside Fort Hood, while standing outside of the Bernie Beck Gate, April 2, 2014.
  • Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood, speaks with the media outside of an entrance to the Fort Hood military base following a shooting that occurred inside, April 2, 2014.
  • Lt. Gen. Mark Milley addresses the media during a news conference at the entrance to Fort Hood Army Post in Texas, April 2, 2014.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dragonfly310 from: MS
April 07, 2014 11:18 AM
Here's some other things that should be considered. First, why are the investigators (and his "doctors")only searching through searching through his combat/military history in regards to his PTSD complaint? Combat isn't the only trauma that can lead to PTSD. Is Lopez exempt from that because he's a soldier?

Next, he and his family had only been in Ft. Hood for a month and was trying hard to get on post housing and was declined. Was he getting his BAQ and BAS? Or was the Army hassling him about that too? (Lopez was only a Specialist, and off his salary without the BAQ/BAS, you really cannot afford to support a family. ) Plus, why is a 34 year old only a Spc when he entered in 2008, especially since he had a good record. Did the Army bypass him here too?

Then, he says he v was the victim of a robbery. Was his complaint taken seriously or was it tossed aside, like KPD and military police are prone to do? (KPD will claim no jurisdiction even if the crime occurred within its jurisdiction if it appears another soldier committed the crime and they'll send it to the MP's. Then, the MP's will claim no jurisdiction because the crime didn't occur on Ft Hood property, for example.)

Next, the part that appears to have triggered the shooting: a leave request. He was already denied adequate leave for his mother's funeral (he did eventually get the rrquired time, but he probably had to force the command to follow Army regs), so to be told he had come in the next day for the paperwork probably set him off, since he might've thought the process was repeating.

With all this, plus the medical issues he was being "treated" for, could be the motive. Which makes me wonder. Was he really being treated for his own well being, or for the Army's?

by: Dr. Blaylock from: USA
April 06, 2014 7:07 PM
The FACTS are these: ALL other shootings including this one , the gunmen was on SSRI drugs, and the media REFUSES to mention that, because they are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies, your local doctor, and your local pharmacy. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
April 07, 2014 12:23 PM
All these mass killing occurrences seem to be committed by people without friends, and when a person is friendless, who's to blame? .. (medicine?) .. IF you were in the military or other organizations, you'd understand, that some people just can't interact with others, and can't communicate with others, and are friendless, and you'd blame (medicine) for this?

by: meanbill from: USA
April 05, 2014 8:53 AM
IT'S A DAMN SHAME.... Since April 02, 2014 over 150 investigators from the (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies, have already interviewed over 900 people, and numerous crime scenes for evidence .. (BUT?) .. the US only sent a few (FBI) agents to Benghazi Libya after (2) or (3) weeks to investigate ambassador Stevens, and three other Americans who were killed .. (AND?) .. they left in a few days, saying Stevens and Smith were asphyxiated, and Woods and Doherty were killed by mortar rounds? --- (CRAZY isn't it?) ... How the US intelligence services, and law enforcement agencies, and the news media investigate, and report on different murders of US citizens, isn't it? --- (One thing is for sure?) .. They're not wasting time investigating "talking points" are they?
In Response

by: Dave Jenkins
April 05, 2014 7:15 PM
You need mental help.

by: Terra from: Missouri
April 05, 2014 8:03 AM
When people snap like that I am sure there is a mental breakdown somewhere. There is help given to soldiers everyday everywhere for such matters. But the fight that we as a people are up against is not a physical fight it is a spiritual fight. Our soldiers are dealing with real issues and i can say so because I too am a veteran and have dealt with it as well. Here is the cure that we all need .... His name is Jesus!! He will help all who come to him all you have to do is ask. Even if you never believed in Him before. try Him what else do you have to lose... another life??? when you've tried everything try Jesus

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More