This should not be a time for accusations or criticisms of the sort but we have to do more to help our veterans cope with mental health problems. We, unfortunately, expect to lose soldiers in war but it is even more tragic that so many survive a war zone only to come home and lose their lives in what should be the relative safety of stateside life—and far too often by their own hands. With the huge defense budget this nation has, couldn’t adequate funds be found to help veterans deal with thier problems?
Fort Hood shooting: Iraq vet was being treated for mental health issues
Tribune staff and wire reports
An American soldier with mental health issues shot dead three people and injured at least 16 on Wednesday before taking his own life at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another deadly rampage in 2009, U.S. military officials said.
The soldier, who was being treated for depression and anxiety, went to two buildings on the base and opened fire before he was confronted by military police, Fort Hood commanding officer Mark Milley said.
The gunman, whose motive remains unknown, then shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber pistol, he added.
“The shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Milley told a news conference. “At this time there is no indication that this incident is related to terrorism.”
The rampage is the third shooting at a military base in the United States in about six months that, along with a series of shootings in public places, such as schools and malls, has sparked a national debate over gun control regulations.
Security officials said preliminary information identified the gunman as Ivan Lopez but Milley declined to officially identify the shooter, who is married, until his family was notified.
The suspect’s wife was cooperating with law enforcement officers, a Federal Bureau of Investigation official said, according to CNN.
The shooter had served for four months in Iraq in 2011, Milley said, and was also undergoing an evaluation for post traumatic stress disorder. He arrived in Fort Hood, one of the largest U.S. Army bases, in February from another military installation.