News

Fort Hood shooting rampage lasted 8 minutes

Fort Hood shooting rampage lasted 8 minutes

FORT HOOD SHOOTING:U.S. soldier SPC Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula between 2007 and 2008 during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard in this undated photo. Photo: Reuters

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The shooting rampage at Fort Hood U.S. Army base last week started with an argument over leave and lasted eight minutes, with the suspected shooter getting in and out of his car as he fired on soldiers he worked with and others who happened onto his path, investigators said on Monday.

Specialist Ivan Lopez, 34, drove his car slowly through the central Texas base as he carried out the rampage. He got out at two facilities, including the place he was assigned, fatally shooting three people and wounding 16 more before turning the gun on himself, Christopher Grey, spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, told a news conference.

The shooting in which three people were killed and 16 wounded was the second deadly rampage at the base, one of the largest U.S. Army posts in the country, in five years. It raised questions about protecting soldiers at home and caring for troops battling mental illness, such as Lopez.

The incident started with the argument at an administration building, Grey said as he filled in some of the details of the shooting spree. Grey did not take questions.

“Within minutes of the altercation, the subject brandished a .45 caliber, semi-automatic handgun and fired multiple rounds, killing one soldier and wounding 10 additional soldiers,” Grey said.

Lopez then got into a car, fired at two soldiers walking past, wounding one, and went to the motor pool office where he was assigned.

He shot and killed one soldier in the office and wounded two more in a vehicle bay before getting back into his car and shooting through the windshield of a moving vehicle, wounding another person, Grey said.

MEDICAL BUILDING

Lopez then went to a medical brigade building, killing one soldier and injuring two more before getting back in his car and pulling into a parking lot. He was then confronted by a military policewoman, and shot himself in the head.

“We have not confirmed a definitive motive,” Grey said, adding Lopez fired at least 35 rounds from the same weapon during the shooting spree that covered several hundred yards.

Friends of Lopez told Reuters last week the soldier had been angry at his commanders for granting only a 24-hour leave to attend his mother’s funeral in Puerto Rico last year.

Lopez had been battling depression and anxiety, and was being evaluated to see if he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, military officials said. He had been deployed to Iraq for four months in 2011 but saw no combat, they added.

Funeral arrangements were being made for the three killed: Army Sergeant Timothy Owens, 37, of Illinois, Staff Sergeant Carlos Lazaney Rodriguez, 38, of Puerto Rico, and Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, 39, of Florida, a military official said.

A memorial is scheduled at the base on Wednesday and will be attended by President Barack Obama.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Grant McCool)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Senate Advances One-Month Budget, House Measure Fails

Updated
money

The Illinois Senate has advanced a one-month spending plan that Democrats say will allow critical services to continue as Illinois enters a new fiscal year.

in Local

Illini Women’s Basketball Program Faces Federal Lawsuit

university illinois

The university, the plaintiffs, and their attorneys declined to comment.

in Local

Body Found at Springfield Hotel

local_news_generic

Springfield Police say they do not suspect foul play after a body was found inside a local hotel.

in Local

Texas Congressman Backs Flynn in 18th District Race

7-1-15 Gohmert for Flynn

Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert is on the stump for Mike Flynn.

in Local

Former Treasurer’s Office Employees File Suit

Republican gubernatorial candidate State Treasurer Dan Rutherford participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

The suit is the latest chapter in a saga involving sexual harassment claims that undercut Rutherford's 2014 campaign for governor.