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Fort Hood shooter was ‘low-risk’ soldier

Puerto Rican native had no violent past

  • This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Authorities said Lopez killed three people and wounded 16 others in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, before killing himself. Investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)

    This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Authorities said Lopez killed three people and wounded 16 others in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, before killing himself. Investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)

  • Syrian refugee Yahya, speaks to journalists at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Thursday, April 3, 2014. The teenager from central Syria became the one millionth Syrian refugee to register in Lebanon on Thursday, a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with about 4.5 million people of its own, the U.N. refugee agency said. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Syrian refugee Yahya, speaks to journalists at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Thursday, April 3, 2014. The teenager from central Syria became the one millionth Syrian refugee to register in Lebanon on Thursday, a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with about 4.5 million people of its own, the U.N. refugee agency said. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Authorities said Lopez killed three people and wounded 16 others in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, before killing himself. Investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)
  • Syrian refugee Yahya, speaks to journalists at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Thursday, April 3, 2014. The teenager from central Syria became the one millionth Syrian refugee to register in Lebanon on Thursday, a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with about 4.5 million people of its own, the U.N. refugee agency said. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, the soldier suspected in a deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, was a father of four children and a former police officer who served 10 years on the force in his native Puerto Rico before taking leave to join the Army.

Lopez, 34, is now believed to be the gunman who killed three and wounded many others at the sprawling Army post in central Texas.

The spree only ended, authorities said, when Lopez was confronted by a military police officer.

He put his hands up, then pulled a handgun and killed himself with a shot to the head.

Yesterday, both investigators and Lopez’s family were struggling to understand what had driven him to such a violent and destructive end.

Friends described Lopez as introverted and quiet, a talented percussionist from a musical family.

He had joined the Puerto Rican police force as a young man, in part to join the police department’s band. The department was still expecting him to return to police work after spending four years in the Army.

At Fort Hood, officials saw Lopez as a “low-risk” soldier whose behavior raised no obvious red flags.

He had married for a second time and lived with his wife and a young daughter in an apartment near the base.

Lopez had troubles. He had returned from a short tour in Iraq and shifted from one base to another in the U.S. He was taking medications to help with depression and anxiety. He had been crushed by his mother’s sudden death last year and was unhappy that the Army had given him so little time off to grieve.

But, apparently, nobody except Lopez himself saw what it was all adding up to.

“They are going through an incredibly difficult period,” said Glidden Lopez, 26, a friend speaking on behalf of Ivan Lopez’s family in Puerto Rico.

Lopez had no apparent connections to terrorism. And, at least on the surface, he was not a man apart. Lopez posted photos of himself and his children at an amusement park on Facebook.

When he posted a picture of himself in uniform last year, 55 people “liked” it.

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