UK & World News

  • 8 April 2014, 3:28

Fort Hood Killings 'Linked To Leave Request'

A soldier who shot dead three colleagues at a US Army base had asked for leave prior to the killings, military investigators have said.

Army spokesman Chris Grey said Ivan Lopez's deadly rampage last week was related to his leave request from his Texas Army post.

It was not revealed whether the soldier's request was granted.

Lopez, 34, reportedly fired more than 35 shots during his eight-minute killing spree in which he drove from one building on the vast base to another. 

The rampage ended when Lopez, an Army truck driver, got out of his car and was confronted by a female officer who fired her gun although did not strike him. 

Lopez then turned the gun on himself.

His victims have been identified as 39-year-old Daniel Ferguson, 38-year-old Carlos Rodriguez and 37-year-old Timothy Owens.

Another 16 people were injured in the attack.

Authorities have said Lopez had an altercation with fellow soldiers in his unit on the day of the shooting.

The soldier had reportedly sought help for depression and anxiety and had told medical personnel he had suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

However, Lieutenant General Mark Milley said the soldier's mental condition was not the "direct precipitating factor" in the attack.

Officials said he had a clean record and had no ties to potential terrorists.

It is not the first time a soldier has opened fire on colleagues at the Fort Hood base. 

Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others during an attack in 2009.

It has been revealed that Lopez and Hasan both purchased the weapons used in the killings from Guns Galore, a small store on the main road leading to Fort Hood.

The soldier, originally from Puerto Rico, joined the military in 2008 and had served abroad twice, including four months in Iraq in 2011.

He had no direct involvement in combat and had not been wounded.