Fort Hood Shooter Frustrated By Paperwork, So We Can Stop Calling It PTSD

Four days after Ivan Lopez opened fire on Fort Hood army base in Texas, and a clearer picture is forming about what led to the 34-year-old Iraq veteran's fatal rampage. While mostly speculative, several sources have suggested that paperwork may have in fact been the final trigger: the soldier became frustrated after being temporarily denied a leave-of-absence application, coming back furious — and with a semiautomatic pistol.

Various sources have suggested that Lopez’s rage was sparked by an issue over some forms that needed to be filled out. Apparently, the veteran became annoyed after requesting a leave-of-absence application and being told by a human-resources officer to come back the next day. Other sources have suggested that Lopez was looking for time off in order to deal with some family issues, supposedly to do with the recent death of his mother.

“The underlying medical conditions are not believed to be the precipitating event to the actual shooting,” confirmed Lt. Gen. Mark Milley. “The precipitating event we think was probably this argument, some sort of argument that occurred.”

According to the New York Daily News, an Army spokesman confirmed that Lopez had argued with other members of his unit before opening fire — two out of the three killed in the attack were part of that same unit.

“The first sergeant lit into Lopez and was dressing him down about all kinds of s---,” the source told the Daily News. Lopez got into his car and drove away, but almost immediately returned. At that point, he “opened fire from his car before he had to put it into park ... He parked it, got out and bang, bang, bang.”

“It was all over a leave pass, which is ... crazy,” the source added.

Lopez reportedly used a semiautomatic Smith and Wesson .45 to shoot indiscriminately at the other soldiers on the base, firing bullets over a wide area, including in two nearby buildings. After being confronted by a police officer, the 34-year-old turned the gun on himself. The assault left four people dead, including himself, and injured 16 more. The fatal attack is the second the Texas military base has seen in the last five years.

In spite of the reports about the argument, however, Lopez's motive will likely remain a mystery. “We have not established a concrete motive, but we will do everything in our power to do so,” said a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command. “Given that the alleged shooter is deceased, the possibility does exist that we may never know exactly why the alleged shooter did what he did.”

A memorial service is scheduled to be held next Wednesday for the three victims of the shooting, who have now been identified as Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens; Staff Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez; and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Michael Ferguson. In the meantime, though, another veteran took it upon himself to build his own memorial for the deceased, identical to the one he erected after the shooting in 2009.

You can read his story here.