OPINION: What Caused Fort Hood Shooter Ivan Lopez to Snap?
The assumption is that he was suffering from a mental disorder and that he was severely depressed. After reading article after article and thinking on my own experience as a Navy Reservist, I do believe that SPC Lopez may have been depressed, but he was also provoked.
Reports indicated that the 34-year-old truck driver from Puerto Rico joined the island's National Guard in 1999. After serving on a peacekeeping mission in Egypt. he enlisted with the U.S. Army in 2008 and was deployed to Iraq as a truck driver for four months. In his case, he was not on the front line so he did not experience combat.
So what caused SPC Ivan Lopez to snap? As I mentioned earlier, I do believe that he was depressed. In November of 2013 his mother died from a heart attack, and naturally, SPC Lopez put in for leave so he could handle matters dealing with his mother's passing and attend the funeral.
It has been reported that SPC Lopez was upset because he was only granted a 24-hour leave to attend the funeral. He was later granted two more days and the funeral was delayed for almost a week so he could be there.
Fast forward to Wednesday. This is allegedly the account of what happened, according to Sergeant Jonathan Westbrook, who was shot and standing next to the first soldier SPC Ivan Lopez shot and killed. According the Sgt. Johnson, SPC Lopez came in the Personnel office, where he and the other soldier worked, to request a leave form. The soldier told SPC Lopez to come back tomorrow to pick up the form. SPC Lopez exited the room and then later returned and opened fire on that solider and then turned the gun on Sgt. Westbrook leaving him with injuries to the neck and chest.
So, the question still remains, why did SPC Lopez snap? I am just curious to know, why did he have to come back the next day? Was the personnel office out of paper? These are basic and common forms that should on be hand at all times. In my opinion the form was probably sitting on someone's desk whether it was a blank or his signed approved request. The two events mentioned here lead me to believe that SPC Lopez was tired of being given the runaround for request that were simple.
How would you feel if your employer held you up from your mother's funeral? I think it is absolutely ridiculous that SPC Lopez was stateside and could not receive leave in a timely manner to attend his mother's funeral; Nor could he receive the adequate time to handle his affairs in relation to his mothers death. Now here we are, just five months later and he is experiencing the same thing with soldiers who took an oath to serve and protect this country.
Customer service and treating others with respect is very important. You never know what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back for someone else. I believe that SPC Lopez probably felt like he had been betrayed by the very country and servicemen who he took an oath to serve and protect. Based on my personal experience, I am pretty sure there are other circumstances surrounding this incident that led to him taking his life and three others as well as injuring others too.
I am not condoning SPC Lopez' actions at all, but I do understand. How would you feel if you were in his shoes?