Psychiatric issues behind shooter’s behavior
WASHINGTON (TIP): Specialist Ivan Lopez has been identified by authorities as the man who opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas on Wednesday, April 2, killing three people before committing suicide. Sixteen more people were injured when Ivan opened fire at Fort Hood, the sprawling Army post in Texas still on edge after a mass shooting there left 13 dead in 2009, officials said.
The gunman also died. He was engaged by military police before he fatally shot himself in the head, said the Army post’s commander, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley. The suspect, a soldier who had served in Iraq, “had behavioral health and mental health” issues, Milley told reporters late Wednesday.
A day after a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded, a key question looms over the investigation: Why? Authorities are still piecing together the answer, but seem to be homing in on at least one thing that they say might have made 34-year-old Spc. Ivan Lopez pull the trigger. have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicates an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition. (We’re) going through all records to ensure that is, in fact, correct. But we believe that to be the fundamental underlying causal factor,” Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post’s commanding general, told reporters Thursday.
The rampage started around 4 p.m. Wednesday, when Lopez fired his .45-caliber handgun at two buildings at the sprawling Texas military facility. When a police officer confronted him later, he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, ending his life. The gunman was an experienced soldier who was grappling with mental illness, officials said. But they haven’t pinpointed why he opened fire. Authorities are interviewing witnesses and “looking at what the trigger event was” that led to the shooting, including a possible altercation with a fellow soldier “that immediately preceded the shooting,” Milley said.
Investigators say they haven’t found any links to domestic or international terrorist organizations, but they’re keeping open minds. “At this point we have not yet ruled out anything whatsoever,” Milley said. “We are committed to letting the investigation run its course.” Another key question for investigators: did any gaps in safety and security measures allow the shooting to take place? “Obviously something went wrong,” U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on Thursday.
But he stressed that investigators were still trying to piece together the events leading up to the shooting. “We know a lot of things 24 hours later, but we don’t know everything,” Hagel said. “What happened? What motivated this person to do this? Where was the gap? Why did we have a gap? Why did it happen? … I think we are going to find out, and we will do everything possible to implement those reforms and fill those kinds of gaps.”