The accused gunman involved in yesterday’s shooting at Fort Hood military installation in Texas was reportedly undergoing treatment for depression and anxiety and saw a psychiatrist last month.
Testimony from a Senate hearing regarding the incident has revealed that 34-year-old Army Specialist and military truck driver Ivan Lopez had mental health issues yet was believed to pose no risk to himself or other people.
Mr Lopez was described by the Army chief of staff as “an experienced soldier” with no extremist affiliations, but had been undergoing evaluation as to whether he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq.
Last month, Mr Lopez had seen a psychiatrist who reported that he showed “no sign of any likely violence to himself or others” according to Army Secretary John McHugh. Mr Lopez had self-reported a traumatic brain injury after serving four months in Iraq in 2011.
Working alone, Mr Lopez opened fire on the military base on Wednesday afternoon, killing three people and injuring 16 others before shooting himself.
The shooting, the second at Fort Hood and the third at a military installation in five years, raises questions about security and gun control at military bases.
In 2009, the large central base was shaken by another shooting when Army Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers. In September last year, a government contractor killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
Sharon Rice, the wife of Army Captain David Rice who was at the base at the time of shooting, says she has no concern about the security of the base despite recent events.
“Every time you get on installation, you have to have the tag on the car scanned. They do it every time, every time you go through the gate. And then there are random checks,” Mrs Rice told CNN. “Yes, it’s secure.”