The soldier who killed three people at Fort Hood in Texas before killing himself was a drummer from a religious family who showed no signs of trouble, said the mayor and music teacher of the gunman’s hometown of Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.
Officials say Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a married father who went on the shooting spree Wednesday evening that also injured 16 people, was under treatment for depression and anxiety, and he was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Authorities are trying to determine the gunman’s motive for the rampage.
Lopez had served 11 years in the Army National Guard in Puerto Rico before enlisting in the Army in April 2010, according to his military records.
Starting in middle school, Lopez played percussion, mostly snare drum, through high school, Edgardo Arlequin Velez, mayor of Guayanilla and a music teacher for 26 years at Aristides Cales Quiroz Middle School, told NBC News. The interview was translated from Spanish into English by NBC News.
“He was always calm and quiet, and loved music,” Velez said. “He followed instructions and evidenced much discipline. I never perceived any problems, nor fights with his classmates.”
Lopez’s parents were leaders in the religious community — his mother presided over the Juan 23 (John 23) reform movement in the Catholic church, Velez said.
“He also comes from a family with profound religious roots, he received much support from his family and a good education,” Velez said.
The last time Velez saw Lopez was November, 2013, when Lopez’s mother died and he returned to Puerto Rico for a short time.
“I went to say hi and gave him a hug, I couldn’t talk to him.”
Velez said community members “feel satisfied that we helped create an excellent human being,” but surmised Lopez's issues started after he left Puerto Rico.
“Apparently other things happened when he left the country that must have shaken and affected his mental health and led him to a desperate situation,” Velez said. “It is so lamentable for him and all those affected.”