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Saturday, October 22, 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.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Gee. One of the biggest gun shops around. I would also be willing to bet he sold guns to people who never intend to commit a crime, and only want to use them legitimately. Leave this guy alone. It could have happened to anyone. The fault lies in Lopez’ doctors not reporting his mental condition to ATF for their “do not sell” list.

    • awakenaustin

      Maybe it is no one’s fault? At least maybe we will never be able to adequately assign fault and all the to-ing and fro-ing about fault will be a waste of time and energy.
      We know the proximate cause – Spec. Lopez took a handgun and shot a bunch of folks. We may someday adequately ascertain his motives or maybe not. Fault or blame, however, that will be tricky. Excepting, of course, those folks who know everything and are certain about everything they know. (I am not, I repeat not suggesting you are one of these people.)

      Maybe it is Osama Bin Laden’s fault for plotting to destroy the twin towers?
      Maybe it Saddam Hussein’s fault for getting on George the 2nd’s bad side.
      Maybe it is George the 2nd’s fault for starting that damn war in the first place.
      Maybe it was Specialist Lopez’s recruiter’s fault for recruiting him or allowing him to sign up.
      Maybe it was his mom’s pre-natal care?
      Maybe it was not learning better dispute resolution strategies in Elementary, Junior, and or High School. (You know, thinking that killing a few people will fix things for you is a failing strategy almost without exception.)This would make it public education’s fault.
      Maybe someone should have recognized he needed help sooner?
      Maybe he should have gotten help sooner?
      Maybe he should have been on or on different or better drugs?
      If he bought the gun with a credit card, maybe the credit card company (or the Devil) is to blame for extending him credit?
      Maybe if he bought it with cash, it is the Army’s fault for paying him too much?
      Maybe if those he argued with had been nicer it wouldn’t have happened?
      Maybe if he had left later to be where he was going and got caught in a traffic jam it wouldn’t have happened?
      Maybe if it wasn’t so easy to get a gun, for any reason, at almost any time it would not have happened?
      Maybe if Spec. Lopez wasn’t bent in whatever fashion he was bent for whatever reason(s) he was bent, it wouldn’t have happened?

      Maybe this is only a tragedy for everyone concerned. Maybe we should mourn our dead.
      And, maybe, if there is a way to limit these occurrences in the future, maybe we should focus on that.