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article imageAlleged Ft. Hood shooter sought treatment for stress disorder

By Nathan Salant     Apr 3, 2014 in Crime
Killeen - US Army Specialist Ivan Lopez was taking antidepressants and being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder when he allegedly started shooting at Fort Hood, killing four including himself and wounding 16.
US Army Specialist Ivan Lopez was taking antidepressants and being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder when he allegedly started shooting at Fort Hood, killing four including himself and wounding 16.
Lopez, 34, a 15-year veteran who sought treatment after serving four months in Iraq, is being blamed for Wednesday's massacre at the Texas base.
"We are digging deep into his background, any criminal or psychiatric history, his experiences in combat," Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, Fort Hood's commanding general, said late Wednesday, according to Cable News Network (CNN).
"All of the things you would expect us to do are being done right now," Milley said.
Military authorities are trying to figure out what Lopez was thinking when he brought his own handgun to the base and opened fire, possibly following an argument with a fellow soldier, CNN said.
Lopez had moved to Texas in February from another military posting and had moved into an apartment with his wife and daughter just a little more than a week before the shooting, CNN said.
Officials said there was nothing indicating terrorism, but the investigation is continuing.
Fort Hood is the same base where an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people in a similar mass shooting in 2009, CNN said.
Army Secretary John McHugh told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that Lopez's records showed no injuries that would have triggered an investigation into traumatic brain injury, which Lopez reported himself.
Lopez was being treated for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances and taking prescribed drugs that included the sleep aid Ambien, McHugh said, and was examined by a psychiatrist just last month.
"The plan forward was just to continue to monitor and treat him as deemed appropriate," McHugh said.
"He was not a wounded warrior, no Purple Heart, not wounded in action in that regard," Milley said.
Lopez served in the Puerto Rico National Guard from 1999-2010, when he joined the active duty army.
He was assigned to the Sinai Peninsula for 13 months in 2007 and served four months in Iraq as a truck driver in 2011, CNN said.
Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, who served with Lopez for 17 months during training and later in the Sinai, called Lopez "one of the best soldiers we had in our infantry," CNN said.
"During, before, and after the mission, he never showed any signs of distress," Bigas said.
Lopez passed a background check when he bought the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun at a Guns Galore store near Killeen, law enforcement officials told CNN.
That indicates that military doctors treating Lopez had not reported him as mentally unfit, CNN said.
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