The Secretary of the Army said a background check on the Fort Hood shooting suspect showed that he had no involvement with extremist organizations
The Secretary of the Army told Congress Thursday that the suspected shooter at Fort Hood “had a clean record” behaviorally and showed no signs that he would commit violence during a psychiatric examination a month earlier.
In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the national defense budget, Army Secretary John McHugh provided new details about the man suspected of killing three people before shooting himself in the second deadly shooting at Fort Hood since 2009.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul earlier identified 34-year-old Army Spc. Ivan Lopez as the suspect, though McHugh did not name him in his testimony.
McHugh said Lopez, from Puerto Rico, enlisted in the Army in 2008 and was deployed twice, including once to Iraq where he drove trucks and did not see combat. He said Lopez was married and investigators had questioned his wife.
He also said the suspect was undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, but that he had a “clean record” and “no outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.” After an examination last month, the Army planned to “continue to monitor and treat him as deemed appropriate.”
But McHugh’s testimony also raised new questions about the suspect’s motives after officials previously said the shooting was not related to terrorism. McHugh said a background check showed that he had “no involvement with extremist organizations of any kind,” but he said investigators have not made any conclusions.
‘We’re going to keep an open mind,” McHugh said. “Possible extremist involvement is still being looked at very, very carefully.”
McHugh said the shooter’s .45 caliber weapon was recently purchased and was not registered with the base. While soldiers living off-post like Lopez are not required to register personal weapons with the base, he was not allowed to bring it to the base.