The shooter who killed three fellow soldiers at Fort Hood this week was "surely affected" by the recent deaths of his mother and grandfather, according to a statement his family released today.
Spc. Ivan Lopez killed himself after the mass shooting on April 2 that possibly erupted after Lopez argued with another soldier or soldiers, the base's senior officer has said. There were also 16 people wounded.
"My son must not have been in his right mind," said Ivan Lopez Sr. in a statement published on NBC News. "My son wasn't like that."
Army officials had previously said that Lopez was receiving treatment for anxiety and depression while being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The family's statement did not elaborate on the 34-year-old's mental health, but they said he was "under medical treatment."
The deaths in his family as well as his recent transfer to Fort Hood this year "surely affected his existing condition because of his experiences as a soldier," the family said.
Lopez served four months in Iraq in 2011 but did not see combat, according to statement from the Army.
A fuller picture of the three slain soldiers also emerged Friday from family and friends who identified the victims to news organizations.
The three men killed were Sgt. Danny Ferguson, Sgt. Carlos Lazaney and Sgt. Timothy Owens, CNN reports.
Ferguson had just returned from Afghanistan and was engaged to Kristen Haley, also a solider. Ferguson died trying to hold shut a door that wouldn't lock while Lopez shot through it, Haley told WTSP. Ferguson was 39 and a Florida native, WFLA reports.
Lazaney, 38, was from northwestern Puerto Rico and enlisted in the armed forces at 18 after graduating from high school, according to the mayor of Aguadilla, his hometown. He was married and had a family, CNN reports. HIs full name was Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez, according to The New York Times, though he went by a shortened version of it.
Owens, 37, grew up in Effington, Ill. He recently re-married and had children with his first wife, the Associated Press reports.
“I can’t believe this has happened. I just can’t,” his mother Mary Louise Muntean said to NBC Chicago. “I just talked to him Sunday night.”
Doctors have said that they expect all the people wounded in the shooting to survive.