- The Washington Times - Friday, January 23, 2015

An Army investigation into last year’s deadly shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, found that the base lacked a system capable of identifying and tracking a shooter who killed four and injured 12.

Army officials revealed the details of the investigation into the April shooting spree in a 110-page report made public Friday. That day, Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a veteran of the Iraq war, opened fire at several locations on Fort Hood, one of the Army’s largest bases, killing three soldiers and wounding 12 others before killing himself, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Donald Peters.

Using a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson that was not registered with the Army base, Lopez gunned down fellow soldiers not long after he was granted only a 24-hour leave to attend his mother’s funeral in Puerto Rico, a family spokesman told The Associated Press.

Lt. Col. Peters said it is “absolutely untrue” that he was granted only a day’s leave, saying that Lopez was given six days.

In the wake of the rampage, officials are now considering asking soldiers to register privately owned weapons with their commanders.

The report notes that Lopez exhibited “no clear warning signs” of unstable behavior before attacking base personnel. However, officials were able to discern that there were several background factors that may have contributed to his state of mind, according to the report.

“He recently experienced the death of two close family members, was facing financial difficulties, and was being treated for several medical conditions,” the report said. “He also had only recently come to Fort Hood from a previous assignment.”

The assessment notes that Lopez would have been responsible for reporting any warning signs about his mental health to his superiors and a shortage in the number of troops available to conduct military operations. Army leaders may have been “unable to provide adequate time to train, mentor, and lead,” according to the report.

• Maggie Ybarra can be reached at mybarra@washingtontimes.com.

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