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Fort Hood shooter suffered from mental illness: Evaluated for PTSD

Spc. Ivan Lopez was reportedly being treated for depression and anxiety, and was being evaluated for PTSD
Spc. Ivan Lopez was reportedly being treated for depression and anxiety, and was being evaluated for PTSD
Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

The man behind Wednesday afternoon's deadly shooting at Fort Hood reportedly suffered from mental illness.

According to USA Today, Spc. Ivan Lopez was being treated for depression and anxiety before opening fire at the Texas post, ultimately killing three people and wounding 16 others. He then fatally shot himself.

There are presently more questions than answers about any specific incidents or motive that may have been spurred the tragedy.

"We do know that this soldier had behavioral health and mental health issues and was being treated for that," said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Army's III Corps at the Texas post, during a televised press conference.

Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but had not yet been diagnosed for the illness.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 30 adults in the U.S. suffer from PTSD in a given year. That risk is much higher in war veterans.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that some 60 million Americans struggle with mental illness every year. NAMI describes mental illness as "a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life."

CNN reports that Lopez served for four months in Iraq in 2011 and had just moved to Fort Hood in Killeen from another military installation.