Authorities investigating the tragic Fort Hood shooting that left four dead, including the shooter, are still searching for a motive, but they’ve uncovered information that suggests Ivan Lopez may have argued with another service member prior to the attack. Investigators are also uncovering Lopez’s unstable mental health, believing his struggles contributed to the rampage.
The base’s senior officer, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, said there is a “strong possibility” that Spc. Ivan Lopez had a “verbal altercation” with another soldier or soldiers immediately before Wednesday’s shooting, which unfolded on the same Army post that was the scene of an infamous 2009 mass shooting. However, there’s no indication that he targeted specific soldiers, Milley said.
Lopez, 34, seems to have a clean record that shows no ties to extremist groups. He also had shown no apparent risk of violence before the shooting. But investigators aren’t ruling anything out.
“We’re not making any assumptions by that. We’re going to keep an open mind and an open investigation. We will go where the facts lead us,” Army Secretary John McHugh said, explaining that “possible extremist involvement is still being looked at very, very carefully.”
After Wednesday’s mass shooting, authorities discovered the gunman sought help for depression, anxiety and other problems, and was taking medication. They are still looking into whether Lopez had lingering psychological trauma from his time in Iraq. On Thursday, investigators searched his home and spoke with his wife and neighbors, who described the gunman as “friendly.”
Shaneice Banks, a 21-year-old business-management student who lived downstairs from the Lopezes, said her husband, who also works at Fort Hood, helped the couple move in. Hours before the shooting, Banks said she ran in to Lopez when he came home for lunch. “He was going to his car, and I was like `Hey, how’s your day going?’ And he seemed perfectly fine. He was like, `Day’s going pretty good. I’ll see you whenever I come back home.'” When word came out that there was a shooting at the base, Banks saw Lopez’s wife frantically calling her husband over and over, trying to reach him via cellphone from the apartment’s shared courtyard. “She was bawling because they have a 2-year-old, and she was just holding the baby,” Banks said. “My heart just went out to her. I was trying to get her information when I could but she doesn’t speak a lot of English.”
Lopez took his own life when he was cornered by police during the shooting. In addition to the three lives he took on Wednesday, Lopez injured 16. According to Scott & White Memorial Hospital, three were in serious condition, and two others were in good condition and were discharged late Thursday. We’ll keep you updated on the latest in this tragic case as details come in.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook
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