According to witnesses Lopez left after the initial argument with a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson automatic pistol and opened fire on fellow soldiers, killing two of them. He then walked outside shooting at soldiers indiscriminately, spraying bullets around an area of two city blocks. He shot at people in two nearby buildings and from his car. He was confronted by a brave female MP, who drew her weapon and fired at him, apparently missing, when he drew his pistol, placed it to his head, and committed suicide.
Although Lopez had been seen by a psychiatrist a month earlier and was apparently suffering from anxiety attacks and depression, the military claims that this shooting spree was not precipitated by his mental health issues. Lopez was being assessed for PTSD, but had not been diagnosed.
On Thursday’s press briefing, Lieutenant General Mark A. Milley indicated that the underlying cause for the shooting was Lopez’s unstable psychiatric or psychological condition. On Friday, however, Milley stated that his underlying medical conditions are not a direct precipitating factor.
The main stream media has made a lot out of General Milley’s statement. While mental illness didn’t directly cause the shooting spree and Ivan Lopez’s reaction, it had to be a contributing factor. According to military officials Lopez was a good soldier, who had no major discipline problems. He obviously had a few things going on in his life that are yet to be revealed by the ongoing investigations.
His mother had recently died and he was in a new environment in Fort Hood. He was married and had a father and we have yet to hear from his spouse and the state of the marriage.
It is too early to draw a concrete conclusion, but mental health issues cannot be discounted.