Fort Hood shooting gunman Ivan Lopez, in the weeks leading up to his deadly rampage on the Texas Army base, posted a series of troubling messages on his Facebook page, indicating a deteriorating mental state that could have tipped off authorities to the danger Lopez posed. But investigators now say that the gunman’s true motives for the April 4 shooting spree that killed three of his fellow servicemen and wounded 16 others may never be known.
Lopez, a native of Puerto Rico and father of three, ended the attack by shooting himself in the head, taking his own life, as a Fort Hood military policewoman closed in on him.
“Given that the alleged shooter is deceased, the possibility does exist that we may never know exactly why the alleged shooter did what he did,” Chris Grey, of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, said Saturday.
But on a Facebook page that he set to be viewable only by family and friends, and created under the pseudonym “Ivan Slipknot,” in homage to the heavy metal band Slipknot, Lopez posted a series of messages that revealed an escalating level of anger and despair prior to the shooting at Fort Hood.
The 34-year-old Army truck driver and Iraq veteran, who was treated for depression and was undergoing evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the Fort Hood shooting, posted a message on Facebook in early March — around the time the gunman purchased the.45 caliber handgun he used in the Fort Hood shooting — describing his bleak psychological outlook.
“My spiritual peace has just gone,” wrote Fort Hood gunman. “Full of hate. Now I think I’ll be damned.”
He went on to describe being robbed by two men the previous night. But if in fact that robbery took place, police did not have any details available as of Sunday.
In an outraged post about Newtown school massacre gunman Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children, six teachers, his mother and himself in late 2012, Lopez expressed anger that “anyone can have easy access to a powerful weapon without being mentally evaluated,” but also expressed his belief that Lanza was faking mental illness, saying the Newtown killer was simply seeking “international attention.”
In another frightening post, the Fort Hood shooting suspect described his “hours of agony” driving in a convoy while on his tour of duty in Iraq in 2011. The gunman also directs profanities at the Army bureaucracy.
“We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicates unstable psychiatric or psychological condition,” Fort Hood base commander Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said of the shooting suspect. “We believe that to be a fundamental, underlying cause.”