Thu April 3, 2014
New Details Emerge in Fort Hood Shooting
This post contains Day 2 developments in the Fort Hood shooting. See our initial report on the shooting here.
Summary: Family counseling centers are set up at Fort Hood and at a location off post to help people process yesterday’s shooting. A chapel on the post was open all night for people who wanted to pray.
Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting at the Army post. The suspected shooter, 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez, is among the dead. He was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lopez was an Iraq war veteran and was in the process of being diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder
KUT reporter Kate McGee traveled to Fort Hood yesterday. She talked with KUT Host Jennifer Stayton about the shooting:
Fort Hood officials say emergency services officials responded to the scene within 15 minutes. The injured were treated at the scene and transported to area hospitals.
Fort Hood soldiers and civilian workers are expected to report to work today, although physical training has been canceled. The Killeen Independent School District is holding classes as usual. KISD operates all schools on post.
The Red Cross has set up at the Killeen Community Center and will be coordinating support. The Red Cross says they currently have enough blood supply to meet the need. Monetary donations can be made online at redcross.org.
Read below for today's updates on the shooting.
Stories of Heroism Amid Horror
At a press conference today, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said Spc. Ivan A. Lopez fatally shoot himself when confronted by a military police officer. Lt. Gen. Milley is not identifying the officer but calls her heroic – and says she was not the only one.
"She clearly performed her duty exceptionally well, but there’s others," he said. "There were folks inside some of these buildings who performed very heroic personal acts in saving others. There’s at least one chaplain that I’m aware of who shielded and saved other soldiers, broke some windows and got them to safety."
The general says there will be a memorial service on post early next week.
Alleged Shooter's Mental Health a 'Causal Factor' (4:06 p.m.)
Earlier today, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said Spc. Ivan A. Lopez's mental health is suspected as being at the root of yesterday’s violence.
"We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicates an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition," Lt. Gen. Milley said. "We’re going through all the records to ensure that that is in fact correct, but we believe that to be the fundamental underlying causal factor."
Milley has said that Spc. Lopez had received treatment for depression, anxiety and sleeplessness and that he was in process of possibly being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez had served for four months in Iraq, where he did not see combat.
Update From 3 p.m. Press Conference: Army Names Lopez as Shooter (3:33 p.m.)
Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Mark Milley spoke about the investigation into yesterday's shooting at a press conference this afternoon. Lt. Gen. Milley officially confirmed the identity of the alleged shooter, Ivan A. Lopez, originally from Puerto Rico.
"We have not yet ruled out anything, whatsoever," Milley said of the investigation. But he reiterated there was no reason to believe the assault was motivated by political terrorism "of any type, either national or international."
Lopez purchased a gun March 1 from Guns Galore, Milley said. That's the same store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the gun he used to kill 13 people in 2009.
Milley said the U.S. Army is serving as the lead investigative agency probing the incident, coordinating federal, state local and army agencies.
Update: Possible Explosive Found & Destroyed in Killeen; Police Say No Known Link to Fort Hood (2:01 p.m.)
The town of Killeen, Texas evacuated an area north of downtown after police found what they say "appears to be an Improvised Explosive Device." Police say "there is no known connection between this incident and the recent tragedy on Fort Hood."
An Austin American-Statesman reporter says the item was destroyed by a bomb squad in a small explosion with no injuries. Read more here.
Nine Victims Remain Hospitalized: No Further Fatalities Expected (11:58 a.m.)
Nine people remain in the hospital after yesterday’s Fort Hood shooting.
At a press conference this morning, Dr. Matt Davis at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas said three patients remain in critical condition.
Two of the three require further surgery; the third "is undergoing some further diagnostic testing and it is not definitively clear whether or not he will need surgery," Davis said.
Davis said he does not expect any more fatalities.
As for the other six patients, two are in fair condition and four are in good condition. Some of those patients could go home today.
All of the victims are current military members with varying degrees of service.
Perry Orders Flags at Half-Staff; Elected Leaders React (11:01 a.m.)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has ordered all state flags lowered to half-staff, "in honor of those involved in the recent shooting at Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas." Gov. Perry continues:
"Anita and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the soldiers, families and support personnel touched by this terrible event."
KUT has compiled state and national leaders' statements on Fort Hood, including more from Perry, President Barack Obama, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis. See our list here.
KUT and 'The Takeaway' on Fort Hood's Deadly History (10:08 a.m.)
KUT's Kate McGee appeared on WNYC's The Takeaway this morning. McGee, who also covered Major Nidal Hasan's trial for the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, discussed yesterday's shooting in light of that recent history.
"I think that a lot of people are wondering, 'How did this happen twice in five years?'" McGee said. "And that’s kind of the question that will be answered in the coming days after the shooting."
Listen to the conversation below:
Alleged Gunman Hailed From Puerto Rico (8:25 a.m.)
A spokeswoman for the Puerto Rico National Guard has confirmed to the Associated Press that the Fort Hood gunman in yesterday's shooting was from Puerto Rico.
Spc. Ivan Lopez joined the island's National Guard in 1999. He left to join the U.S. Army in 2010.
Fort Hood Shootings