Fort Hood Shooter Saw No Combat: Army

He worked as a truck driver in Iraq
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2014 11:50 AM CDT
Fort Hood Shooter Saw No Combat: Army
Military personnel wait for a news conference to begin at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon)

More background but no answers in the case of yesterday's shooting at Fort Hood: The Army today confirmed that the gunman worked as a truck driver in Iraq from August to December 2011. He saw no combat, and the AP reports that his service record contains no mention of a Purple Heart, indicating he was never injured on the job. Those records show "no direct involvement in combat ... or any injury that might lead us to further investigate battle-related TBI (traumatic brain injury)," said Army Secretary John McHugh today. Gunman Ivan Lopez did, however, "self-report" a TBI. More:

  • House Homeland Security Committee chair Michael McCaul has confirmed the gunman's identity as Lopez, but military officials are still declining to do so, pending notification of his family. There's someone else not using his name: Fox News' Megyn Kelly. Politico reports that she has made it a policy not to use his name, or that of any other mass killer, on the Kelly File; her guests, which today included McCaul, refrained from using his name as well. "Too often it is infamy they seek," she said, "and we decline to help."

  • What McHugh did disclose about the shooter: He's a Puerto Rico native who joined the island's National Guard in 1999 and served on a yearlong peace-keeping mission in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in the mid-2000s. He then enlisted with the Army in 2008.
  • McHugh also said the shooter saw a psychiatrist last month and showed no "sign of any likely violence either to himself or others." Further, his record shows "no involvement with extremist organizations of any kind," though the Army isn't ruling out extremist ties.
  • As for the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun Lopez used, CNN reports it was bought legally near Killeen, Texas; the gun store followed procedure, and there were no red flags.
  • Lopez had not been diagnosed with PTSD, but was going through the steps required to arrive at such a diagnosis. Among the drugs he had been prescribed: the sleep aid Ambien.
  • Though the three critically injured victims remain on ventilators, they are expected to survive, reports NBC News. KBTX reports they sustained spinal, neck, and abdominal injuries.
(More Fort Hood shooting stories.)

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