The soldier who shot three people to death at Fort Hood apparently did not see combat during a tour in Iraq three years ago but was clearly troubled, under treatment for depression and anxiety and being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
As authorities tried to piece together a motive on Thursday for the rampage, a picture began to emerge of the gunman, identified as Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a married father who transferred from another base in Texas in February.
Lopez served eight years in the Army National Guard in Puerto Rico before enlisting in the Army in June 2008, military officials told the Senate on Thursday. He was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, before transferring to Fort Hood two months ago, according to military records.
The commanding officer of Fort Hood, Lt. Gen Mark Milley, told reporters Wednesday night that the gunman was being evaluated for PTSD but had not been diagnosed. Besides the depression and anxiety, Lopez had trouble sleeping and was taking Ambien, Army Secretary John McHugh told the Senate.
There is no record that Lopez saw combat or was injured during a four-month deployment in 2011 to Iraq, where he was a truck driver, military officials said. At that time, American forces were withdrawing from Iraq.
Records show no combat citations or ribbons, the officials said. They stressed that it did 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.
They said there was also no medical confirmation the Lopez suffered a traumatic brain injury. Milley said that the soldier “self-reported” a brain injury.
Lopez, who lived near the post, lost his mother in November, the mayor of his hometown in Puerto Rico told a radio station there.