Fort Hood Shooter: Argument precipitated shooting spree

Ivan Lopez

Army Specialist Ivan Lopez walked into a human resources office on Wednesday afternoon, he wanted to request a leave of absence, but was told to return the next day. This resulted in an argument, which exasperated Lopez, who left and returned a few moments later. Family and friends of the 34 year old Lopez say that this simple argument precipitated the shooting spree, which killed three and injured 13 others.

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.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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  1. Sorry, I don’t typically critique articles for grammar but this article is so poorly worded and written it detracts from the information provided.

    While I appreciate the author’s military background and contributions, writing is not his strong suit.

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