BREAKING: All-clear sirens sound at Fort Hood as lockdown lifted hours after shooting at Texas Army post.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 3, 2014
Law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, tell the Associated Press that internal Justice Department updates say the gunman killed four people, including himself, and that 14 others were injured. The Justice Department reports say the shooter died of what appears to be a self-inflicted wound.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, says the suspected shooter used a .45-caliber pistol and died at the scene, and that he was wearing an Army uniform. He said it wasn’t clear if he was an active duty soldier or an “impostor.” He says the victims are presumed to be soldiers.
It is very tragic that this is happening in our backyard
A senior Department of Homeland Security source tells FoxNews.com the shootings were a “soldier on soldier” incident without any apparent terrorism link. Senior U.S. officials confirmed the shooter’s identity as Spc. Ivan Lopez, who was based at Ft. Hood. Lopez was reported to be in full uniform.
I just got off the phone with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Sandy Winnefeld to get the latest report on the situation in Fort Hood. Obviously we’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now. But my national security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI. They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make sure that everybody is secure. And I want to just assure all of us that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families. We know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make. Obviously our thoughts and prayers were — are with the entire community. And we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the community at Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with the current situation, but also any potential aftermath.
We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. And I don’t want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but for now, I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers. The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe. We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. And we’re going to have to find out exactly what happened.
An FBI spokeswoman says “there is no indication at this time” that an alert that an Army recruit planned a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soliders” is related to Wednesday’s shooting. Fox News reported on Monday (April 1) that the alert, referring to the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead, said FBI became aware of a recruit who had “publicly stated his intention to commit jihad, bidding farewell to his family and friends and making comments indicating his jihad was imminent.”
Fort Hood’s Directorate of Emergency Services issues a report that a shooter is dead but this is unconfirmed and states that injured personnel are being transported to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals. The number of injured are not confirmed and the post is still on lockdown.
A female police officer draws her weapon and confronts Lopez after he “reached out under his jacket” to pull out a gun that he used to shoot himself in the head. Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commanding officer at Fort Hood, later calls the officer a “hero”.
What she did was heroic. She did her job and she did exactly what we’d expect from U.S. Army military police.
All personnel on post are asked to shelter in place.
— Fort Hood (@forthood) April 2, 2014
Shots are heard at 4:35 p.m. near the outdoor motor pool. Lopez had been assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). Lopez ran into the medical building and fires shots from a .45 semi-automatic pistol at individuals in the 1st Medical Brigade. Some people try to flee by jumping over a seven-foot-high barbed wire fence.
He leaves that building, gets into a vehicle and continues firing. He goes to another building at the post, enters and opens fire.
Lopez is evaluated for PTSD but does not get diagnosed. Besides depression and anxiety, Lopez has trouble sleeping and is taking Ambien.
Lopez is deployed to Iraq for four months, where he is truck driver during the time American forces are withdrawing from the country. There is no record that Lopez saw combat or was injured. He gains no combat citations or ribbons. Officials say that this does not mean Lopez was not suffering serious psychological problems — only that they did not appear combat-related, as is often associated with soldiers suffering from PTSD. According to a spokesman, Lopez “self-reported” a brain injury.
Lopez receives instruction as part of the Warrior Transitional Brigade, a program that:
Accepts Soldiers injured in combat, those with chronic medical conditions, those who are seriously ill, those with mental or emotional conditions, and Soldiers injured during training or off duty.
When Soldiers require at least six months of complex medical care, their doctors can put in a packet for them to be moved over to the WTB, where the Soldier’s only mission will be to heal and prepare for transition,
He is assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Lopez joins the Army National Guard in Puerto Rico.
Lopez was from the town of Guayanilla. His mother was a nurse. The mayor of the town, Edgardo Arlequin Velez taught Lopez for six years while he directed the school band.
He he was a peaceful young man and especially talented.
The mayor said Lopez’s parents were always taking care of him, and that he had a tight-knit family and friendships.
He had an excellent life, which I witnessed
Lopez’s mother dies in November 2013. His grandfather dies in October 2013.