McCaul, who represents Brenham and Washington County in the U.S. House, is the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. In a statement released last (Wednesday) night, he said: “For the second time in five years Fort Hood was struck by tragedy.”
Thirty-four year old Ivan Lopez an Iraqi war veteran being treated for mental illness, opened fire late Wednesday afternoon, killing three people and wounding 16 before he turned his .45 caliber automatic pistol to his head and pulled the trigger.
Reports from the scene say that Lopez was confronted by military police in a parking lot. As he came within 20 feet of an officer, Lopez put his hands up but then reached under his jacket and pulled out his firearm. The officer drew her own weapon, and the suspect then put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
Lopez had served in Iraq in 2011 and had sought help for depression, anxiety and other problems. Before the attack, he had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post traumatic stress syndrome.
Lopez was married and had arrived at Fort Hood in February, from another Texas base. He was taking medications and there were reports he had complained after returning from Iraq about suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Investigators have begun looking into whether Lopez’s combat experience caused lingering psychological trauma.
The injured were taken to the Scott and White Hospital in Temple for treatment.
President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of this shooting.
This was the second deadly shooting at Fort Hood in five years. On November 5th, 2009, Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire killing 13 people. Hasan is currently waiting for a death sentence to be carried out.
Wednesday’s shooting incident is not considered to be terrorism.