Ft. Hood Shooting: He did what he had to!

by todaystrainingblog

Ft. Hood Shooting: He did what he had to!

                On Tuesday April 2, Ivan Lopez, walked onto his military base of operations and station. He proceeded to argue with 2 other soldiers at Fort Hood Texas outside of Killeen. He then shot and killed them. He then proceeded to shoot and wound 16 more people before he himself was confronted by a police officer and killed himself.

                As I have said, and wrote about, several times, the act of killing these people makes absolute sense. In Lopez’s mind it was perfectly logical. His perception of the world defined his reality and then warped his mind in believing what he did was right.

                The scary thought in all of this is that no one connected the dots and they ignored the warning signs of someone who could have went off. So what were these signs I talk about? They are below, but before we get there…

                The commanding General of Fort Hood categorically stated that it wasn’t his mental illness that caused this incident. Rather it was the argument he had immediately prior to the incident that caused it. He is wrong. The argument was simply the trigger; Lopez’s finger was already on the trigger. And then it was pulled. He didn’t ‘just snap’ as so many have postulated recently. Here are the signs as I have heard and researched them;

  • Was robbed on the 1st

  •  Has been defined as both a nice guy and creepy at times by neighbors

  • Was prescribed Multiple medications recently, with possible interactions not considered

  • Lost both his mother and grandfather in  a short amount of time

  •  Was denied enough leave to attend the funeral of his mother

  •  Argued with the section that granted LOA’s, was told to come back ‘later’

  •  Had been denied promotion 4 times in his time in the National Guard and regular Army

  •  Was being treated for mental illness – without being totally diagnosed as such

  •  Treated for PTSD – and the same reasoning hadn’t been fully diagnosed as such

  •  Was suffering serious stress in his life personally

  •  Was suffering serious stress in career

  •  Recently had been ordered to move to Ft. Hood – anxiety

  •  Argued with several members of the Army when he returned on the 2nd to get his LOA

  •  Carried a .45 pistol on base despite being against regulations


Lopez may not have consciously made the decision to do what he did. But he was intent on getting even and getting his leave, no matter what. By carrying the firearm onto base he had made the perception that he was within his rights to do so the reality in which he lived and thought.

                And as I have said, also multiple times, how hard is it to dissuade someone of their perceptions when they have a mental illness or in this case PTSD? Anyone who feels that the world is against them will have the perception that whatever it is they decide to do is right, and most times it’s impossible to determine the right frame of mind for them. And that’s what makes them so dangerous in the arena of WPV.


                Want to read the other blog posts on this subject? Look for the posts after the Naval Ship Yard last fall, the Columbia Mall shootings in January and into the archives for more.


                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

                He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his website at;

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about