Fort Hood Shooter Had Requested Leave, Army Says

World Today

Flowers decorate a fence outside of Fort Hood’s east gate on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Killeen, Texas, in honor of those killed and wounded in the Fort Hood shooting on April 2. Three people were killed and 16 were wounded when a gunman opened fire before taking his own life at the Fort Hood military base. (AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa)

The Fort Hood shooting that left three dead and 16 wounded last week was connected to the shooter’s request for leave from the Texas Army post, according to military investigators. Army spokesman Chris Grey has not indicated whether the shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez, was granted the leave. Authorities have said the shooting was preceded by an argument Lopez had with other soldiers in his unit.

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 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, according to base officials.

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

This report compiled with information from the Associated Press.