Fort Hood Shooting Victim's Body To Return To Florida

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email
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News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 8, 2014, 6:45pm

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The body of one of the three soldiers killed in the rampage at Fort Hood will be returning to the Tampa Bay area.

The remains of Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson will arrive at the Tampa International Airport Friday evening. Ferguson attended high school in Polk County.

The Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle organization will conduct an honor escort from Tampa International Airport to a funeral home in Lakeland.

The Tampa Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1knRNm4) that there will be a private funeral Saturday morning in Lakeland. The riders will then escort Ferguson to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

Officials say Ferguson was one of three killed April 2 by Army Spc. Ivan Lopez at the Texas Army base.


News Release: Governor Rick Scott's Office
Updated: April 4, 2014, 8pm

Statement from Governor Rick Scott Regarding Staff Sergeant Carlos A. Lazaney Rodriguez

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – “I express my sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Staff Sergeant Carlos A. Lazaney Rodriguez who lost his life during the tragic shooting at Fort Hood on Wednesday. He was a member of the military for two decades and his honorable service to our county is immensely appreciated and will not be forgotten.”

Statement from Governor Rick Scott Regarding Sergeant First Class Daniel M. Ferguson

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – “My deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of Sergeant First Class Daniel M. Ferguson, of Mulberry, who lost his life while actively trying to protect others from harm during Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood. More lives would have been lost if not for his heroic actions. He should be remembered and appreciated for his selfless sacrifice.”


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 4, 2014, 6pm

MULBERRY, Fla. (AP) -- One of the three people killed by a gunman at the Fort Hood, Texas military base was from Florida.

Spc. Ivan Lopez turned his gun on himself after killing three people -- including Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson -- and wounding 16 others Wednesday at the base.

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the commander of Fort Hood, said Friday that Ferguson was among the three killed.

Ferguson was a 1993 graduate of Mulberry High School, in a small town between Orlando and Tampa.

Mulberry High School Assistant Principal Lori Leverett said Friday that Ferguson was "an all-around nice, guy, very wholesome."

He played high school football, baseball, basketball and ran track.

Leverett said Ferguson didn't attend his 20th class reunion because he was deployed.

Ferguson's mother declined to comment on Friday.


News Release: CBS New Copy
Updated: April 4, 2014, 6pm

The three soldiers killed in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood by another military man had served in the military for years and been deployed to Iraq as well as other places.

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley on Friday identified those killed as 39-year-old Daniel Ferguson, of Mulberry, Fla.; 38-year-old Carlos Lazaney Rodriguez, of Puerto Rico; and 37-year-old Timothy Owens, of Effingham, Ill.

Milley says Spc. Ivan Lopez killed the three Wednesday at the military base after a verbal altercation that escalated. He then killed himself.

Ferguson was a transportation supervisor who had been deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lazaney Rodriguez was a unit supply sergeant who had served in Kuwait and Iraq.

Owens was a heavy vehicle driver who had also been deployed in Iraq and Kuwait.

Here's a look at the slain victims:

Timothy Owens
Timothy Owens was apparently shot in the chest at close range, his mother-in-law, Darlene Humphrey, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Owens' cousin, Glen Welton of Effingham, Ill., said Owens grew up with military dreams.

"He was one of those kids who wanted to wear camouflage and wanted to wear bomber jackets and sunglasses," said Welton, himself a National Guard veteran of Iraq. "It took him a few years before he got himself in."

Owens, 37, dropped out of high school in 1995, according to his mother and school records. She said he earned his GED diploma after joining the Army in 2004.

Welton said he ran into Owens last year at a funeral and the two figured out they had served in Iraq at the same time. Welton was there from 2005-06.

A photo from that day shows Welton with his arm around Owens, who wore his Army dress uniform, including a beret, and a pair of dark sunglasses.

"He had grown into a man. The military had made him a complete man," Goodwin said. "I sure know he cleaned up pretty with his uniform."

Owens' mother says she was reunited less than two weeks earlier with a daughter she gave up for adoption at birth.

Mary Muntean of Effingham, Ill., said that she was still celebrating that reunion when she got a call telling her that her son was killed Wednesday in the attack at Fort Hood.

Muntean told the AP she has heart problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her 54-year-old daughter sought her out, and the two met on March 23, she said.

"She finds one child and loses another," said Betty Goodwin, Muntean's niece and Owens' cousin.

Owens was one of Muntean's four children. A younger son died eight years ago after a lifelong disability, Goodwin said.

Family said Owens had been previously married and had children from that marriage.

Danny Ferguson
Danny Ferguson had just returned from Afghanistan, according to CBS affiliate WTSP in Tampa. The movement specialist was working at Fort Hood when Ivan Lopez opened fire.

Danny's fiancée, Kristen Haley, who is also soldier, said she was nearby when the shooting happened. In an exclusive interview with WTSP Thursday night, she said Ferguson was killed while trying to barricade a door to keep the shooter away.

"He held that door shut because it wouldn't lock. It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they're not," Haley said . "If he wasn't the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else."

Ferguson graduated from Mulberry High School in Polk County, Florida in 1993, according to WTSP. He was a prolific athlete, playing football, baseball, basketball and ran track. Mulberry High School teacher Joy Andrews said she wasn't surprised that he went on to fight for his country.

"You usually don't sit around after graduation if you have that much in you," Andrews said.

Ferguson's fiancee said he had an intense desire to serve his country.

"I know that he did have a pleasure of serving. This was his life," Haley told WTSP. "He was proud to be part of a great service."

Carlos Lazaney Rodriguez
Carlos Lazaney Rodriguez, 38, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, was among the three soldiers killed in the Fort Hood shooting, according to the mayor of Aguadilla.

Mayor Carlos Mendez Martinez told NBC News that Lazaney was set to retire from the Army later this year.

"They are an excellent family, really good people," Martinez told NBC News. "And what's so sad is that he was 38 years old and had joined the military since he was 18. He was going to retire at the end of the year. It is so sad."


CBS News Copy

Investigators are focusing on the service and medical history of the Fort Hood shooter, who, according to CBS News sources, is Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34. Military officials have not confirmed that name, saying the soldier's family had not been notified.

Army officials say they believe this attack is not terror-related. The Army said the soldier was suffering from behavioral and mental issues, CBS News homeland security correspondent Bob Orr reports. He was being treated for depression and anxiety.

Lopez served in Iraq for four months in 2011. As far as sources know, he was not injured or wounded in action, but when he came home he told his military superiors he had suffered a traumatic brain injury, so he was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

On Thursday morning, Army Secretary John McHugh confirmed to a Senate committee Thursday the gunman was deployed for the final months of the Iraq war but did not see combat. McHugh testified that the soldier was examined by a psychiatrist last month and was found to show no violent or suicidal tendencies. He said the soldier had been prescribed Ambien to deal with a sleeping problem.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told senators that the steps taken in the wake of the first Fort Hood shooting in 2009 helped prevent Wednesday's shooting from being a bigger disaster.

The alert system and training for first responders "contributed to making this something that could have been much worse," Odierno said during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Army's budget.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that Lopez joined the National Guard in Puerto Rico in 1999 and that after 15 years in the armed services had only risen to the low rank of specialist.

Sources say a preliminary check of Lopez's background has revealed no significant criminal record, and a search of the criminal and terror databases has turned up no evidence, so far, that he was connected to any kind of terrorist group, but nothing has been ruled out.

Investigators say the soldier used a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, which was purchased recently, in the attack.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told CBS News that Lopez bought his weapon, a Smith and Wesson MP 45, at Guns Galore, the same shop where Maj. Nidal Hasan, who carried out a deadly rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, bought his weapon.

Lopez purchased his weapon legally March 1.

As for motive, Orr reported this appears to be an incident of what's called soldier-on-soldier violence. It is not clear yet if Lopez was targeting specific soldiers or if the attack was random.

The shootings took place at a medical facility and a nearby command building - areas on the base that were familiar to Lopez.


OBTAINED BY CBS NEWS

Investigators are now going through his background. They're talking to family, friends and fellow soldiers. And they're also looking at Lopez's emails, phone records and computer files in an effort to determine if he left any clues or evidence of pre-planning.

Investigators want to identify any possible stressor - something that may have caused Lopez recently to snap and then react with violence.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


CBS News Copy

FORT HOOD, Texas - A soldier being treated for mental health issues opened fire Wednesday with a semiautomatic weapon at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding several others before taking his own life as a military policewoman confronted him, officials said.

The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, the site of a notorious 2009 mass shooting carried out by an Army psychiatrist who was an extremist Muslim.


Soldiers listen in the wings as Lt. Gen. Mark Milley address the media during a news conference at the main gate to Fort Hood, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. / Eric Gay, AP

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, commander of the III Corps and of Fort Hood, said the suspect in Wednesday's rampage suffered from mental health issues and been under evaluation to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder.

"At this time, there is no indication that this incident was related to terrorism, although we are not ruling anything out and the investigation continues," Milley told reporters Wednesday night.

He said four people were killed, including the gunman, who died of a self-inflicted wound. A total of 16 other people were injured. All of the victims, both the slain and injured, were military, he said.

At least three of the injured were reported in critical condition.

Sources told CBS News the shooter had been identified as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez.

Milley declined to name the soldier, saying his family had not been notified. But he did say that the soldier, who had served in combat for four months in Iraq in 2011, and was being treated for mental health issues and was on medication.

In Chicago, President Obama said he was following the situation closely.

"Any shooting is trouble. Obviously, this reopens the pain of what happened Fort Hood five years ago," the president said.

"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again," Mr. Obama said. "I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

In a hastily arranged statement, Mr. Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made - including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they're at their home base, they need to feel safe," Mr. Obama said. "We don't yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again."

"It's a terrible tragedy, we know that. We know that there are casualties, both people killed and injured," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told reporters in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was meeting with Asian defense ministers.


Fort Hood / CBS/Google Earth

The shooting began shortly after 4 p.m. and lasted about 15 or 20 minutes, Milley said. The gunman opened fire first in a building in the 1st Medical Brigade area, Milley said, and then got into a vehicle, firing several shots he drove to a second building in the 49th Transportation Battalion area.

He got out, entered the second building, and opened fire again, Milley said.
The base went into lockdown as the drama started to unfold. Warning sirens began going off and and all personnel were urged to shelter in place.

"There has been a shooting at Fort Hood and injuries are reported. Emergency crews are on the scene. No further details are known at this time," the post said in a brief statement.

Milley said military police responded quickly and the rampage came to a violent end when the suspect, who was armed with a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic piston, was confronted by a military policewoman.

"He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He reached into his jacket. She pulled out her weapon. He put his weapon to his head and shot himself in the head," Milley said.

It was "clearly heroic, what she did at that moment in time," the general said, but added, "She did exactly what we expect of a United States soldier."


Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait for permission to re-enter the Fort Hood military base, where they live, following a shooting on base on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. / AP

Fort Hood remained on lockdown for several hours.

Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.

"The last two hours have been the most nerve-racking I've ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband," DeHart said.

Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK.

"I just want him to come home," Conover said.
The all-clear sirens sounded around 9 p.m. and cars began to stream out of the giant complex as people who had been stuck on the base were finally allowed to go home.

Milley said the suspect was married and had a family, but did not elaborate. He said the soldier had been transferred to Fort Hood from another military installation in February.

He said the suspect had apparently suffered a "traumatic brain injury" in the past, but it was not combat-related. The shooter had been being treated for depression, anxiety, "and a number of other psychiatric issues," Milley said. He was on medication.

The general said the suspect had been undergoing a "diagnosis process" to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder, but said no diagnosis had been made.

Late on Wednesday, investigators had already started looking into whether the gunman's combat experience caused lingering psychological trauma.

Among the possibilities they planned to explore was whether a fight or argument on base triggered the shooting.

"We have to find all those witnesses, the witnesses to every one of those shootings, and find out what his actions were, and what was said to the victims," a federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case by name, told The Associated Press.

The official said authorities would begin by speaking with Lopez's wife and also expected to search his home and any computers he owned.
Of the 16 injured, some of the victims suffered bullet wounds and others were cut by flying glass, Milley said. He said one person was injured while jumping over a fence to escape the shooting scene.

Milley praised the emergency crews from surrounding communities who rushed to the base, home of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division.

The injured were taken to the base hospital and other local hospitals.

Officials at Scott and White Hospital, in Temple, said during a news conference Wednesday night that eight patients were being treated at the hospital and one more was en route, reports CBS Waco, Texas affiliate KWTX.

Three of the eight at the hospital were in critical condition and the others were seriously hurt, officials said.

The victims, who were transported by either helicopter or ambulance, suffered gunshot wounds, some in the extremities, others in the abdomen, chest, and neck.

Some were shot repeatedly, officials said.

Ford Hood, near Killeen, in central Texas, was the site of a mass murder on Nov. 5, 2009, when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a soldier readiness center on the base. He shot 13 people dead and wounded more than 30 others. It was the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base.

Hasan, who was left paralyzed when he was shot by police responding to the shooting spree, has been sentenced to death for the rampage.

After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training and strengthening ties to local law enforcement. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.

In September, a former Navy man opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, leaving 13 people dead, including the gunman.

After that shooting, Defense Secretary Hagel ordered the Pentagon to review security at all U.S. defense installations worldwide and examine the granting of security clearances that allow access to them.

Asked Wednesday about security improvements in the wake of other shootings at U.S. military bases, Hagel said, "Obviously when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something's not working."

Addressing reporters Wednesday night, Milley said the Fort Hood community had endured tough times before and would get through this too.

"Events in the past have taught us many things here at Fort Hood," he said. "And we know that the community is very resilient."

Asked whether he wondered why the base had been the scene of two mass shootings, Milley told reporters, "I wasn't thinking about 'not again' or anything like that. Right now my concern is with the families, those that were injured and those that were killed."

He did say, however, that "the response from the law enforcement and the medical units displayed lessons learned from the previous case."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered sympathies to the Fort Hood community on Wednesday night.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Hood community in the aftermath of this tragedy. Many questions remain and our focus is on supporting the victims and their families," Dempsey said. "This is a community that has faced and overcome crises with resilience and strength."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Americans to pray for the victims and their families.

"Tonight, Texans' hearts are once again very heavy. The scenes coming from Fort. Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories," he said. "No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice."

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Associated Press News Release
Updated: April 2, 2014, 11pm

By WILL WEISSERT and PAUL J. WEBER

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A Fort Hood official says the shooter in the attack at the Army base was being assessed for whether he had PTSD.

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said Wednesday that four people were killed including the shooter and 16 others were wounded in the attack. He says the wounded were all military members.

Milley says there is no indication the shooting was related to terrorism.

He says the shooter is married and served in Iraq in 2011.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 2, 2014, 10:15pm

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as Ivan Lopez.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Wednesday's shooting happened at a medical center at the base. Additional details about the suspect weren't immediately available.

U.S. law enforcement officials say four people, including the shooter, were killed when a gunman opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood.

One of the officials, citing official internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were hurt. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.

The Texas Army base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 2, 2014, 7:30pm

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. law enforcement official says the suspected gunman at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas is now believed to be dead.

Fort Hood confirmed the shooting on the base in a brief statement Wednesday evening. The statement also said emergency crews were on the scene and that further details were not yet known.

The official says reports circulating within the Justice Department indicate the shooter has died of what appears to be a self-inflicted wound. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

The identity of the shooter and the number of victims were not immediately known.

News Release: Associated Press News

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- Fort Hood has reported an active shooter to local authorities.

Bell County Sheriff's Office Lt. Donnie Adams says the sheriff's office dispatched deputies and troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety to the nearby Texas Army base.

Fort Hood ordered everyone at the base to "shelter in place." The order was sent Wednesday on the base's Twitter feed and posted on its Facebook page.

The 1st Calvary Division, which is based at Fort Hood, sent a Twitter alert telling people on base to close doors and stay away from windows.

A spokeswoman for the base declined to comment.

The base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.


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