Killeen, TX, United States (4E) – A suspected improvised explosive device (IED) found near Fort Hood prompted an evacuation of residents before bomb crews from the Army base safely detonated it on Thursday.
The Killeen Police Department (KPD) said the IED was fake after it was tested and detonated by Fort Hood Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) crews called to a Killeen neighborhood home, where the device was found. KPD officials also ruled out any connection of the bomb hoax to the shooting at the Army base a day before that killed three people, including the shooter, and left 16 others wounded.
Leroy Ferrell, the resident of the home in the 1500 block of North Gray St., reported finding the IED taped to the hood of a friend’s truck parked in his house around 9 a.m. He called the owner, who reported and showed to the KPD a photo of the package with a cellphone taped to it and wires protruding. Police identified the device on the photo as an IED and called the EOD.
Police evacuated residents from an eight-block radius around Ferrell’s home and took them to the Killeen Community Center as the EOD crew examined the package, according to KPD spokeswoman Carroll Smith.
Meanwhile, authorities identified the shooter at Fort Hood as Army soldier Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, of Puerto Rico. Lopez, who works as a truck driver for the logistics section of the base, shot dead two other soldiers with a .45-caliber gun during his shooting spree in two separate buildings at Fort Hood around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Lopez first walked into the administration building and opened fire. He then left and drove a car while continuing firing. He next entered the transportation battalion building and also opened fire there. When he left the building, a military police (MP) officer confronted him in a parking lot.
Lopez put his hands up, pulled a gun from inside his jacket and shot himself as the MP engaged him, according to Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen Mark Milley.
Lopez killed two other soldiers and wounded 16 people using a gun he bought from a local store and brought inside the camp illegally. Nine of the injured are being treated at the Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple and others at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center inside the base.
Lopez was undergoing treatment for depression and insomnia before the shooting, Army Secretary John McHugh said Thursday.
Lopez was deployed to Iraq for four months in 2011 and moved to a Killeen apartment with his family in February. His widow went hysterical at their home Wednesday after learning from TV news of her husband’s death.