(April 3, 2014) The family of Army Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34, who opened fire on fellow soldiers late Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, killing three and injuring 16, expressed dismay and shock and asked for “prayers for those affected and who died in this unfortunate tragedy” in a statement issued Friday.
Spc. Ivan Lopez (Family photo courtesy of Mayor’s Office, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico)
“My son could not have been in his right mind. He was not like that,” Ivan Lopez, Sr., the soldier’s father, said in the statement, issued Friday in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.
He described his son “a calm person, a family man, a young hard worker who constantly strove to better the future of his home,” the statement said.
“This situation has caused an immense amount of pain,” he said.
“I ask for prayers for all the affected families while this investigation is ongoing.”
The younger Lopez, who joined the Army in June 2008 and served a four-month tour of duty in 2011 in Iraq, was originally from Guayanilla, a city of about 24,000 residents along the island’s southern coast.
The city’s mayor, a schoolteacher, had known Lopez since his schooldays, spokesman Evelio Torres Brocco said.
“Ivan was a member of a very highly-appreciated family here in Guayanilla,” Mayor Edgardo Arlequein said in a statement his office released Thursday.
“All (of) the municipality in Guayanilla, all the families and mayor especially are very concerned about this event. We don't have any explanation, we don’t have any words to the people who suffered this event in Texas,” the statement said.
Lopez-Torres described Ivan Lopez as a calm and quiet young man who was always happy.
Lopez’s father, two brothers, sister, ex-wife and two children still live in the Guayanilla area, he said.
Lopez’s mother, a nurse in a local hospital, died of a sudden heart attack in November, Lopez-Torres said.
Lopez was given a 48-hour leave to attend the funeral.
The month before, his grandfather died, Lopez-Torres said.
Lopez, who had remarried and had a daughter who was about 3-years-old,.
He and his family recently moved into an apartment complex near the post.
Neighbor Xanderia Morris described the Lopez's as a 'typical, average family."
"They would smile whenever they'd see someone," she said.
After the news of the shooting broke on television, the wife came out of the apartment in tears, Morris said.
"She said 'I'm just worried, I'm just worried,'" Morris said.
"I tried to console her and comfort her, let her know everything was OK."
She was taken from the apartment by law enforcement officials, and was cooperating, an FBI source told CNN.
Sheneice Banks lives in the same apartment complex as the Lopez family and helped the family move in.
She said Thursday she was completely shocked and said Lopez seemed like a nice man.