Lopez grew up in Guayanilla, a town of fewer than 10,000 people, where small, well-kept houses are painted bright colors. The house he grew up in was empty Thursday. It is a one-story, concrete home painted white with green trim.
There are few jobs in the town, and many young people have joined the military in recent years.
The mayor described Lopez as passionate about music. His parents attended school functions, and they seemed close.
Puerto Rico police officials and Torres, the family spokesman, said Lopez had worked as a state police officer from 2000 until he received leave to serve in the military. He played in bands for both the police department and the National Guard.
In January, his wife, Karla Lopez, wrote “te amo,” or “I love you,” under a profile picture on a Facebook page believed to belong to Ivan Lopez. The picture shows him leaning back in a car, wearing dark sunglasses, with earphones hanging from his lobes.
The profile, under the name “Ivan Slipknot,” includes photos of him in uniform and carrying weapons. Others appear to be family photos.
He spent four years at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, before moving on to Fort Hood. In a statement, Fort Bliss officials said he served as an infantryman, with duties as a rifleman, grenadier and vehicle driver. Because of an unspecified “medical condition,” he was reclassified as a truck driver.
In Killeen, Texas, where the family moved after Lopez was transferred to Fort Hood, neighbors in a three-story, blue and gray apartment building described him as friendly.
Shaneice Banks, a 21-year-old business management student who lives downstairs, said that hours before the shooting rampage Wednesday, she ran into Lopez when he came home for lunch.
“They get an hour to come home,” Banks said. “He was going to his car and I was like, ‘Hey, how’s your day going?’ And he seemed perfectly fine. He was like, ‘Day’s going pretty good. I’ll see you whenever I come back home.’”