Shooting at Fort Hood

History Repeats Itself

On April 2, 2014, Ivan Lopez ( pictured below) killed three men and injured sixteen others at the Fort Hood military base near Kileen, Texas ( on map below) . Lopez is an Army Specialist who has previously served in the Puerto Rico National Guard and joined the U.S. Army in 2008. The shooting spree began after a verbal argument between Lopez and several soldiers when he could not receive a leave form. After that incident, Lopez returned into the same building with a .45- caliber Smith&Wesson M&P pistol and opened fire.

The Incident

In the same building, Lopez injured ten soldiers and killed one. He hit Sgt. Jonathan Westbrook four times and was the first to be shot; he was one of the soldiers who was arguing with Lopez before the outbreak. He also killed Sgt. First Class Daniel Ferguson (first picture below)  who was another soldier involved in the dispute.

Afterwards, Lopez left the building and went into his car. He drove to a building where he had been assigned and on the way fired at two soldiers, wounding one of them. When he arrived to the building, Lopez continued firing his weapon and killed Sgt. Timothy Owens (second pictured below) who was trying to talk him down.  After killing him, he kept moving and injured two more soldiers and headed to the First Medical Brigade headquarters in his car.

On the way, he shot two soldiers in a car and wounded the passenger. Once he reached the medical building, he injured a soldier walking and shot and killed Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney- Rodriguez (third pictured below) and wounded another soldier. Lopez then went into the parking lot of another building we he encountered a female military police officer. When he revealed his weapon (which he was not supposed to have), the female officer fired a shot at Lopez but missed. In response, Lopez shot himself in the head. This whole incident lasted for eight minutes.

Ivan Lopez

It is said that Ivan Lopez was not in the right state of mind at the time. He was alleged to have been upset for two months due to the deaths of his mother and grandfather five months prior to the shooting. He was also have psychiatric treatment for depression and anxiety. Sources say that Lopez was initially upset because he requested a leave of absence to attend his mother's funeral, however it took five days to be approved.

Fort Hood Commander Mark Milley stated that Lopez bought his weapon at the same store as the Ford Hood Shooter in 2009 ( Nidal Malik Hasan).

Public Reaction

During a press conference, Lt. General Mark Milley explained to the media what happened that day. In addition, he sent his condolences to the victims of the shooting. “Our focus now is to focus on the families of the injured and focus on the families of the killed and to make sure they have the best help available,” he said.

President Barack Obama was heartbroken by the incident. On April 9, 2014, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended the memorial ceremony at Fort Hood; this is their second visit after the first shooting in 2009. Obama mourns with the families of the victims and is disappointed that he had to make a visit so soon. He stated that he wanted to do more to address the mental illness issue among veterans.

This incident has people questioning about the safety of Americans. Lopez was not authorized to have a weapon on him, however he managed to sneak one. This also has people questioning gun violence and the treatment of veterans. Although it may be a military incident, it is affecting a greater audience.

Through 3 Perspectives of Sociology


In the conflict view, this incident may be seen as a positive thing. Although the event was tragic, what we can get out of it is positive. Due to tragedies like these, it sends a message to the general public. This encourages people to say no to gun violence. In addition, because of this incident, it encouraged Obama to address the issue of mental illness of veterans. Overall, this event serves as a way to help stabilize the controversy of gun violence within America and proper attention to our veterans.


During the incident, Lopez encountered a female military police officer. During this encounter, they had some verbal exchange. Although the female tried to shoot Lopez, he did not try to shoot her. Instead, he killed himself. In contrast, when he encountered his male counterparts, he did not think twice about killing them. I think Lopez could not kill a woman. He thought about how a woman could be a mom, like his mother who had passed. I think Lopez was angry with the male populous.


In the interactionist view, we can study how people behave under certain conditions. With this incident, we see that how soldiers are effected emotionally and physically overseas and how it affects their daily lives/future. The way they interact with others is completely different once they are exposed to the harsh realities overseas.

What will happen?

In my opinion, I think that there will be more action taken against gun violence. I think government agencies will perform accurate screenings/ background checks on people. In addition, I think the military will check up on their troops' and veterans' mental states to make sure that events like this never happen again . I think it's such a coincidence that there was a second shooting at Fort Hood within five years. That is clearly telling you something about how things are run.


Baker, Peter, and Manny Fernandez. "Again, Obama Offers Comfort at Fort Hood After Soldiers Are Killed." The New York Times. The New York Times, 09 Apr. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Starr, Barbara, and Dana Ford. "Official: Fort Hood Gunman Claimed He Was Picked on by Fellow Soldiers." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Ure, Laurie. CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

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