Report: Alleged Fort Hood Shooter, Ivan Lopez, Was Iraq Veteran Who Suffered from Mental Health Issues

Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34 (Photo: CBS News)
Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34 (Photo: CBS News)

The soldier allegedly behind Wednesday’s deadly shooting at Fort Hood was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder and had seen no combat while deployed in Iraq three years ago.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas identified the suspected gunman as Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a Puerto Rican father of three who authorities say had no record of misbehavior. Army officials have not confirmed the shooter’s identity.

Wednesday’s tragedy at the Texas Army base left four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 injured. The suspect enlisted in the Army in June 2008 and served four months in Iraq as a truck driver.

“His records show no wounds, no involvement — direct involvement in combat,” said Army Secretary John McHugh, the U.S. Army’s top civilian official. ” As Gen. (Mark) Milley said, no record of Purple Heart or any injury that might lead us to further investigate a battle-related TBI (traumatic brain injury) or such.”

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Army’s III Corps at Ford Hood, said the soldier had “self-diagnosed” a traumatic brain injury. “He was not wounded in action,” Milley said.

Thursday, McHugh said the suspected shooter had two deployments, including the one in Iraq. Lopez enlisted as an infantryman and later switched his specialty to truck driver.

Lopez, who was on a variety of prescribed drugs including Ambien, had not yet been diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder. But he was also undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and a variety of other issues, McHugh said.

“He was seen just last month by a psychiatrist,” McHugh said Thursday. “He was fully examined. And as of this morning, we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence, either to himself or to others. No suicidal ideation.”

Officials had planned to continue to monitor and to treat Lopez as deemed appropriate.

Now, authorities are combing through the soldier’s background but have not found any evidence that he was involved in extremist organizations.

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SOURCE: Yamiche Alcindor
USA TODAY

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