The FBI is investigating why a retired Army sergeant walked into a Fort Bliss convenience store and shot two employees, one fatally, before he was gunned down by responding officers, the agency said Tuesday.
Authorities did not know whether gunman Steven Kropf, 63, of El Paso, had any relationship with either victim, the FBI said in a Tuesday statement, which described the Monday shooting at the West Texas Army post as an isolated incident.
Bettina Maria Goins, 44, of El Paso was pronounced dead at a military hospital where she was rushed immediately after the shooting, and another woman remained hospitalized Tuesday with serious injuries, the FBI said.
Both women were civilian employees of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which runs merchandise operations for the military, including fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.
Post commander Col. Joseph Simonelli Jr. said officers responded to reports of the shooting in less than three minutes and killed the gunman. The post was not put on lockdown, but traffic was directed around the store where the shooting occurred, Simonelli said.
The shooting came nearly 11 months after 13 people were killed in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas near Killeen. Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 shootings.
Hasan, 40, was paralyzed in the shooting and remains jailed. An Article 32 hearing — similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding — is scheduled for next month, when a military officer will hear testimony from victims and determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.