An Iraq war veteran who suffered from mental health issues opened fire on fellow service members at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three and injuring 16 before turning the gun on himself, military officials said. The attack was latest mass shooting at the post since a 2009 massacre that left 13 people dead.
NBC News identified the deceased gunman as 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier Ivan Lopez, but military officials declined to name him Wednesday night, pending notification of family members. Military officials said the gunman’s rampage was stopped after he was confronted by a female military police officer, which led to the shooter turning the gun on himself.
Officials said there was no indication the shooting was terrorism-related. The gunman’s motive remained unknown, officials said, although NBC News reported that the rampage may have resulted from an argument with other soldiers in the motor pool.
More than four hours after the shooting, all-clear sirens sounded as the lockdown at the post was lifted. Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, many including children who had been kept locked-down in schools since gunshots were first reported at about 4:30 p.m.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, though officials confirmed that all are military personnel. Their names will be released 24 hours after all family have been notified.
Portrait of Gunman Begins to Emerge
The gunman had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and had known mental health issues, Fort Hood’s commanding general Lt. Gen. Mark Milley told reporters Wednesday evening.
There is no record that Lopez saw any combat during his deployment, a time when the U.S. was withdrawing from Iraq, military officials told NBC News.
He was under diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder but had not been officially diagnosed with PTSD, Lt. Gen. Milley said. He was undergoing behavioral health care for depression and anxiety, had a self-reported traumatic brain injury and was not physically injured in combat.
The gunman was armed with a single weapon, a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he had recently purchased, Milley said.
NBC News also reported that the gunman served with the Puerto Rican Army National Guard and was an E4 in the U.S. Army.
NBC 5 spoke with Lopez’s neighbors in Killeen Wednesday night.
They said Lopez moved into the apartment complex about three weeks ago with his wife, and young daughter.
“They seemed real sweet,” said neighbor Xanderia Morris.
Morris said when Lopez’s name was announced on TV news reports, his wife came out of her apartment hysterical. Morris said she comforted her until authorities arrived a short time later and escorted her away. Their daughter apparently left with relatives, Morris said.
Temple Hospital Takes Fort Hood Patients
Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple confirmed it had a command center in place and received nine patients from the post.
All patients were in the intensive care unit, three in critical condition and six serious.
Dr. Harry Papaconstantinou, Chief of Surgery for the hospital, told NBC 5’s Jeff Smith that three patients remain in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
The other six patients still listed at the hospital are in serious condition as of 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Papaconstantinou. Doctors are hopeful the patients will be upgraded to fair condition later today.