The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

April 8, 2014

Ft. Hood shooting linked to leave request

FORT HOOD, Texas — The rampage at Fort Hood that left three dead and 16 wounded last week was related to the shooter’s request for leave from the Army post, military investigators said Monday.

Army spokesman Chris Grey did not indicate during a brief news conference Monday whether Spc. Ivan Lopez was granted the leave. Grey says the shooting spree Wednesday covered the equivalent of two city blocks as Lopez drive from one area to another on the Central Texas base randomly firing at soldiers.

Authorities have said the shooting was preceded by an argument Lopez had with other soldiers in his unit.

Grey said Lopez fired more than 35 shots while driving from one building on the sprawling Texas Army base to another during an 8-minute rampage. It ended when Grey said Lopez got out of his car and was confronted by a female military police officer who fired her gun but did not strike him.

Lopez then turned his .45-caliber pistol to his head and killed himself, Grey said.

In another attack at the base in 2009, 13 people were killed by Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, who had said he was angry about being deployed to Afghanistan and wanted to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. troops.

Lopez, an Army truck driver, did a short stint in Iraq in 2011 and told medical personnel he had suffered a traumatic brain injury. The 34-year-old was undergoing treatment for depression and anxiety while being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, base officials said.

But officials said Lopez did not see any combat in Iraq and had not previously demonstrated a risk of violence. He seemed to have a clean record that showed no ties to potential terrorists.

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