Fort Hood Shooting May Have Been Over Leave Paperwork

An unidentified soldier holds flowers dropped off at Fort Hood's main gate for shooting victims, Thursday, April 3, 2014. An unidentified soldier holds flowers dropped off at Fort Hood's main gate for shooting victims, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Eric Gay/AP

Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood, in which Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three soldiers and wounded 16 more before turning the gun on himself, may have been caused by an argument over leave forms.

New York Times article quotes an anonymous "law enforcement official" who said Lopez requested leave for "family matters," and was angry when the request was denied. The father of a solider wounded in the attack told WLBT that Lopez came to a personnel office to get a leave form, but was told to come back the next day. Instead, Lopez came back with a gun and opened fire.

Lopez's own family believes he was distraught over the recent deaths of his grandfather and mother, while a friend said Lopez was angry that he was only given a 24 hour leave to attend his mother's funeral.

Lopez was being treated for mental health issues including anxiety and depression, but Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said Friday that investigators do not believe they were a direct cause of the attack. 

"We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in his unit area," Milley said. 

Sgt. Danny Ferguson, 39, Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38, and Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, were killed by Lopez. Two of them were in his unit.

Meanwhile, some of the victims from Ft. Hood's other infamous mass shooting told the Los Angeles Times that they've been let down by the government in the years since. The shooting was not classified as a terrorist act, so victims' deaths and injuries were not considered combat-related. That means they are not entitled to certain benefits. Some have struggled to pay their considerable medical bills. In 2011, 148 victims and family members sued the government for compensation.

Both Lopez and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 13 people in 2009, purchased the weapons they used in their shooting rampages at Killeen's Guns Galore

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.