FORT HOOD (April 4, 2014)—Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, visited Friday with the wounded survivors of the shooting rampage late Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood.
Perry and Cruz met with wounded soldiers at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.
The three most seriously injured soldiers remain at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, where they were in fair condition Friday.
Perry later told reporters he saw the resilience of military families in the wake of the shooting that left four soldiers including the gunman dead and 16 others hurt.
He said there "aren't any easy answers" to what prompted Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, to open fire on fellow soldiers.
Cruz described Fort Hood as a "national treasure" and said in meeting with Army personnel at the base he heard stories of bravery and courage.
He said one injured soldier took steps Wednesday to protect others from the gunman.
TEMPLE (April 4, 2014) The three soldiers who were killed in a shooting rampage Wednesday at Fort Hood were identified Friday as Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, of Effingham, Ill., an Iraq war veteran; Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, a 20-year Army veteran who was planning to retire; and Sgt. 1st Class Danny Ferguson, 39, of Mulberry, Fla., a Bronze Star winner who had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.
Owens joined the Army in 2004, served as a motor transportation operator and deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. He was assigned to the 49th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control), 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), in which he served as a heavy vehicle driver.
Owens’ 77-year-old mother learned of her son’s death just as she was celebrating a reunion with a daughter she gave up for adoption at birth. The two met for the first time on March 23.
Lazaney-Rodriguez, who was identified earlier as Carlos Lazaney, joined the Army in 1995, was a unit supply specialist in the 1st Medical Brigade and had deployed to Kuwait, and Iraq. He had been assigned since February 2012 to the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade in which he served as a unit supply sergeant.
Ferguson, who joined the army in 1993, was a transportation coordinator in the 49th Transportation Battalion who had deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Ferguson’s fiancée, Kristen Haley, who’s also a soldier, told WSTP-TV that Ferguson was holding a door shut to keep the gunman out when he was shot.
A memorial will be held next Wednesday for the three fallen soldiers, Fort Hood and III Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said Friday.
The shooting left 16 other soldiers injured.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Thursday that Iraq war veteran Maj. Patrick Miller, 32, an Allegany, N.Y. native, was among the injured.
The conditions of the three most seriously injured survivors of the deadly shooting rampage Wednesday at Fort Hood were upgraded from serious to fair Friday, Scott & White Hospital in Temple said.
The three suffered spinal, neck and abdominal injuries in the shooting, doctors said.
A fourth victim was in good condition and was to be released later in the day, the hospital said.
Five other soldiers who were taken to Scott & White were discharged earlier.
Seven others were taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and three remained there Thursday.
Information about their injuries and conditions wasn’t released.
The soldiers were shot late Wednesday afternoon when Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34, opened fire first in a building in the 1st Medical Brigade area and then got into a vehicle, firing several times, as he drove to a second building in the 49th Transportation Battalion area.
He got out, entered the second building, and opened fire again.
A female military police officer then confronted him in the parking lot.
"She pulled out her weapon and engaged and then he put the weapon to his head," Milley said.
Milley said the soldier fired at Lopez, but said there was no indication the shot struck him.
Milley said Friday that Lopez’s mental condition was not the “direct precipitating factor” in the deadly shooting.
On Thursday he said it might have been, but on Friday he said an "escalating argument" with other soldiers in Lopez’s unit led to the attack.