Fort Hood Shooter Had No History of Violence

Kermit Cole
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In testimony to a Senate panel yesterday Secretary of the Army John McHugh said of Specialist Ivan Lopez, who killed three people and himself and wounded 16 others at Fort Hood on Wednesday, “He had a clean record . . . No outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.”  According to reports, Lopez was in treatment, including antidepressants and sleep medication, for anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

See:
Gunman Had ‘Clean Record,’ With No Violent Sign, Officials Say (New York Times)

From the article:

“This was an experienced soldier,” said Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff. “He spent actually nine years in the Puerto Rico National Guard before coming on active duty, so he’s a very experienced soldier.”

Those who knew Specialist Lopez as a young man, obsessed with the high school band, were even more stunned to learn what he was suspected of doing.

“I cannot believe you are speaking about the same guy,” said Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, one of Specialist Lopez’s superiors in the National Guard. “He was the most responsible, obedient, humble person, and one of the most skillful guys on the line.”

For a year beginning in 2006, Specialist Lopez was deployed with his guard unit on the Sinai Peninsula, watching the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Although Specialist Lopez apparently reported that he had a traumatic brain injury, Dr. Charles Marmar, chairman of psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that the symptoms of traumatic brain injury often overlap with those of post-traumatic stress disorder. Diagnosing the problem relies heavily on self-reporting, he said.

Dr. Marmar said that most soldiers with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury were not violent. “It would be tragic to tar the vast majority of war fighters, with or without PTSD or T.B.I., who would never commit acts of mass violence, with this act,” he said.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. Fort Hood shooter was Iraq vet being treated for mental health issues
    By Ray Sanchez and Ben Brumfield, CNN
    updated 7:05 PM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/02/us/fort-hood-shooter-profile/

    Start really listening to the video at the one minute mark, they ask “what is the catalyst the turns depression into rage ?”

    Of course CNN, the pharma ad channel, that actually plays the suicidal thought and actions drug warning every day as part of these drug ads they play over and over and over said NOTHING about the shooter taking psychiatric drugs or the side effects ! Unbelievable how they blatantly protect their pharma sponsors who buy all those ads .

    WARNING CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS OR ACTIONS WILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION.

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