Army: 'Strong Indication' of 'Verbal Altercation'

But Ivan Lopez's rampage still baffling to friends, investigators

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2014 6:49 PM CDT

(Newser) – A full day of coverage about Ivan Lopez hasn't shed much light on why he opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. In fact, the Washington Post quotes the mayor of Lopez's native town in Puerto Rico describing him as "quiet," "introverted," and "calm," and as a smart, talented percussionist in his youth. The 34-year-old wasn't exactly a loner, either: The newspaper notes that a photo he posted of himself in uniform on Facebook last year got 55 likes. He also posted images of himself with his children. (The Post says he has four in all, including two from his most recent marriage.) But something clearly had gone wrong in recent years, with Lopez getting treatment for depression, anxiety, and other issues, reports the AP.

Pentagon officials say his “unstable psychiatric and psychological condition” was the “fundamental underlying factor” behind the attack, reports the Los Angeles Times. “It was mentioned yesterday that there might have been a verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers,” Lt Gen. Mark Milley said today. "We do not have that definitively, but we do have a strong indication of that.” Investigators don't think Lopez had specific victims in mind when he shot up two separate buildings, however. Another element getting attention is that Lopez was distressed at getting only a 24-hour leave to return to Puerto Rico when his mother died in November, says family friend Glidden Lopez Torres. His leave eventually got extended to two days. Meanwhile, Milley also said that Lopez bought the handgun he used in his shooting spree at the same gun shop in Killeen used by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan for his 2009 rampage at the military base. Lopez bought the gun March 1. (Earlier, officials said that Lopez saw no combat in a deployment to Iraq and praised the actions of a 'heroic' military police woman at the base.)

This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.
This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)
This undated image provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.
This undated image provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.   (AP Photo/Texas Department of Public Safety)
This photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.
This photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)
This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.
This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)
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