Fort Hood Shooter Had Lengthy but Unremarkable Military Career

Apr 3, 2014 6:18pm
ht fort hooting shooter 3 sr 140403 16x9 608 Fort Hood Shooter Had Lengthy but Unremarkable Military Career

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The Army service record of Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, who has been identified as the shooter who killed three fellow soldiers and injured 16 others at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, revealed a lengthy though unremarkable military career.

Read More: Fort Hood General Cites ‘Awful Lot of Heroism’ During Shooting Rampage

Photos: Shooting at Fort Hood

Lopez, a native of Guayanilla, P.R., was an active duty soldier who initially began his Army career as a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard in 1999. He did not complete training and was discharged in November 1999, according to Maj. Jamie Davis, a spokesman for the Puerto Rico National Guard.

Lopez re-entered the Guard in 2003 as an infantryman, though he later transitioned to a Guard band, where he played percussion.

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Related: Everything We Know About the Suspected Shooter

By 2007, he was once again an infantryman and deployed with the Guard for a yearlong deployment to the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Multi-National Observer Force that safeguards the Camp David Accords.

In an interview with ABC News, Lopez’s supervisor during that deployment, Command Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, had nothing but praise for his service, describing him as a soldier who was “outstanding” and “disciplined.”

His service record shows that Lopez entered the active duty Army in April 2010 and joined the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division as an infantryman.

He deployed with the rest of his unit to Iraq from August to December 2011.   Originally slated for a 12-month deployment, the unit’s stay was shortened to four months after the Obama administration could not reach an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops there past 2011.  That meant that all American military units would have to leave the country by year’s end.

Lopez returned with the brigade to the unit’s home base at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

By February 2014, Lopez had left Fort Bliss to join the 49th Movement Control Battalion after he changed his military job to become a truck driver.   That battalion’s building was one of the locations for Wednesday’s shootings.

During his lengthy military career, Lopez received military awards consistent with his deployments and length of service.

They included twice receiving the Army Commendation Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals,  the Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, and two awards of the Multinational Force and Observers Medal.

Related: President Obama: Shooting ‘Reopens Pain’ at Fort Hood

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