Four people were killed Wednesday in a shooting at the Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas, and 16 others were injured in what many people are saying is almost a repeat of the terrible incident that occurred there a few years prior. The 34-year-old gunman, soldier Ivan Lopez, opened fire at the military base and killed three others including himself and seriously wounded those nearby. A question that is in many people are wondering is: Was this incident at Fort Hood a parallel of the mass shooting in 2009? Was the murderer initiating a terrorist attack, or was his mental state just far too gone?
After serving four years in Iraq in 2011, it was reported that Lopez was being treated for depression, anxiety, and additional psychiatric issues. He had not been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but was under evaluation to determine if he had the condition.
Lieutenant General Mark A. Milley stated that Lopez shot the victims with a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun that he recently purchased. Unfortunately at this point, a motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.
Nine of the injured soldiers were taken to Scott & White Hospital while the remaining seven were transported to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center. Three of the wounded are in critical condition and the other victims are in stable condition.
But many questions are still left unanswered. So was this tragedy a terrorist attack?
Milley mentioned that although there is no indication that this event was related to terrorism, nothing is being ruled out. And if it was widely known that Lopez was mentally ill, why was he still allowed on the base? Should there have been a protocol for soldiers with psychiatric issues to be watched more closely in order to prevent these types of incidents from happening? Because of Lopez, many families have had to mentally relive the dreadful calamity that occurred at Fort Hood in 2009, which seems to be a parallel of the mass shooting.
The first shooting was carried out by Army Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, who killed a total of 13 people and injured 32 others. Hasan reportedly had extreme radical anti-American viewpoints that continued to worsen over time. After the incident, a U.S. Senate report described the event as the worst assault on American soil since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Hasan is currently on death row for premeditated murder.
Governor Rick Perry stated that Fort Hood has once again been stricken by tragedy, and that as Texans their first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. No community should have to endure this horrifying violence once, let alone twice, Texas senator John Cornyn said.
So are the two incidents somehow connected or was this just an awful circumstance that happened twice in the same location? The answers to all of these questions still remain to be seen.
Since the gunfire, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered several changes in security at military locations and more intense screening of employees and is developing an analysis center in order to examine threats from the inside. He stated that when these types of incidents occur, especially twice, something is not working. Hagel mentioned that they will continue to address the matter until they find a solution.
Ivan Lopez was a soldier who was mentally unstable and should have been monitored more closely. Fort Hood has suffered another horrifying catastrophe, which parallels the mass shooting in 2009 in many ways. Hopefully, something will be done to ensure that confrontations like this will never ensue at Fort Hood again.
Opinion By Amy Nelson