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Early Reports Show Fort Hood Shooter Had Troubled Life At Base

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U.S. Army Spc. Ivan Lopez was identified by officials as the man who killed three people and wounded 16 others before killing himself at the Texas base. Army officials, the Puerto Rican National Guard, a neighbor, an old friend, anonymous sources, and a Facebook page filled out more of the picture.

Lopez, 34, a native of Puerto Rico, was married with a young child, and had served for four months as a truck driver in Iraq in 2011. In the past, Lopez had sought help for depression and anxiety. Before the attack, Lopez had been undergoing an assessment to determine if he had post-traumatic stress disorder, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer at Fort Hood, told reporters on Wednesday.

The New York Daily News reported Thursday that Lopez was "feuding" with someone at Fort Hood. The Daily News cited a Puerto Rican newspaper, which had interviewed a person who claimed to have been childhood friends with Lopez and spoken to him two days before the shooting.

"It seems he had an argument with someone back at base," the friend told the newspaper. "Seems that he had been robbed or something."

According to the newspaper report, Lopez had also been upset with the Army for its initial refusal to let him travel to his mother's funeral last year. Lopez reportedly received a 24-hour pass to travel to the funeral. Milley declined to answer a question about the matter at a press conference Thursday.

Lopez had not been at Fort Hood long before the shooting. CNN reported Thursday that he had been transferred to the base in February. The Puerto Rico National Guard told reporters Thursday that Lopez had been active with them from 1999 to 2010, and had left to join the Army. He was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula for 13 months in 2007, according to CNN. Puerto Rico National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, who served with Lopez for over a year during training at Fort Hood and then in the Sinai, told CNN that Lopez was "one of the best soldiers we had in our infantry."

ABC News on Thursday identified a Facebook page apparently belonging to Lopez, thought it reported that the name on the account was Ivan Slipknot. (The page also contained several images of the heavy metal band Slipknot.) According to ABC News, the page contained photographs of Lopez in and out of uniform.

Just a few days ago, Lopez and his family moved into a new apartment complex near Fort Hood, according to CNN. A neighbor, Xanderia Morris, told the news network the Lopez family was a "typical, average family." Morris said she had been with Lopez' wife when television reports identified Lopez as the gunman. Upon hearing it, Lopez' wife became "hysterical," Morris said.

About The Author

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com