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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Adolfo Flores and Richard Serrano, Los Angeles Times

KILLEEN, Texas — Army Spec. Ivan Lopez — who opened fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three and wounding 16 before killing himself — bought his weapon at the same store that supplied both Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan for his deadly rampage in 2009 and an Army private for a failed plot to execute a similar massacre in 2011, according to two federal law enforcement sources.

Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 using a pistol from the Guns Galore store in Killeen. It was the deadliest military base shooting in U.S. history. Two years later an AWOL Army private from Kentucky, Naser Jason Abdo, entered the same store and bought gunpowder, shotgun shells and a handgun. In that instance the store notified authorities, who arrested Abdo at a nearby motel where he was plotting to attack a restaurant popular with Fort Hood personnel.

An employee at Guns Galore said that the owner’s wife had talked to the FBI. An employee reached by phone declined to say whether store workers noticed anything of concern about Lopez, who legally purchased a semi-automatic .45-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol. “It’s an ongoing investigation. We have been told to redirect everybody to the FBI,” the employee said.

Military officials were scouring Lopez’s background. He saw no combat during his 2011 service in Iraq and was not wounded, Secretary of the Army John McHugh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning.

Lopez was being treated for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, McHugh said. He had been examined by a psychiatrist last month and was prescribed Ambien, among other drugs, and was undergoing evaluation for post traumatic stress disorder.

The Puerto Rican native had two deployments. One was a truck driver in Iraq from August to December 2011, McHugh said. He has served with the National Guard in Puerto Rico from 1999 to 2010, said Major Jamie Davis, deputy public affairs officer at the National Guard Bureau.

He initially came in as an infantryman and later joined the 248th Army Band.

In 2007 Lopez was deployed to a Multinational Force and Observers unit on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It was a noncombat deployment and he probably provided security in the surrounding region, Davis said.