May 11, 2021

Slaughter stuns Fort Hood killer’s Puerto Rican family and friends

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images-Caribbean-fort_hood_744514737From Caribbean360

To his friends and relations, the triggerman in the mass shootings was the loving son of a religious family, a devoted husband and father, and a loyal friend.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, To the outside world, Ivan Lopez was the deranged gunman who abruptly ended the lives of three of his fellow soldiers and wounded another 16 in the recent rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

But to his family and friends in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, the perpetrator of the shooting spree was a committed member of a religious family, a musician who once played in New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, a devoted father and a good friend.

“He was my role model,” said Ronald Lopez, a cousin who grew up down the street from the 34-year-old soldier. “He was six years older than me . . . Everybody in the family is pretty devastated.”

Neither Ronald nor his mother Naida could believe what they saw on television about Ivan: his mental health problems, his prescription medication issues, and his sudden murderous outburst.

“He was always a good person,” Ronald continued. “He was always interested in the Army and playing drums. He never caused any problems.”

Yet now, neighbours walk down the street where Ivan Lopez played as a boy, speaking in hushed tones and aghast about the family’s misfortunes.

“You would not expect this to happen to this family,” said Alexis Sanchez, 49, who lived across the street. “Not this family.”

Lopez’s immediate family, after releasing a brief statement urging prayers for all involved, remained largely incommunicado.

His father Ivan and sister Ivanis collected the dead man’s clothes after he was identified as the shooter in the Fort Hood tragedy, then reportedly left town.

According to next-door neighbour Shelly Ruiz, Ivanis Lopez was “pretty shaken.”

“Every time a car stopped or slowed down by the house, she would get rattled; maybe afraid of revenge or the press.”

Ruiz also recounted a conversation shared with Ivanis Lopez: “She said, ‘I can’t believe what’s happening, what he did,’” recalled Ruiz. “She looked sad. I’m sure she has done a lot of crying. I tried to console her.”

Other residents of the tight-knit community were stunned to learn that the youngster who came to church every Sunday with his parents was responsible for the mass shooting.

Ivan Lopez last returned home in November for his mother’s funeral after she succumbed to cancer.

Said to be a devoted son, husband and father, Lopez lived in a Killeen, Texas, apartment with his second wife and their son, while remaining close to his two children from a previous marriage.

For more on this story go to:

See also iNews Cayman story published on April 7 2014 under iNews Briefs “Security at Fort Hood could become litigation focus” at:


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