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Friday, April 4, 2014

Three Soldiers Killed at Fort Hood Are Identified

When Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez opened fire at Fort Hood late Wednesday afternoon, Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson leaned up against a door to prevent the gunman from entering a room packed with military personnel.

But this heroic act cost Sergeant Ferguson his life, his fiancée, Kristen Haley, told a Tampa, Fla., television station.

“He held that door shut because it wouldn’t lock,” Ms. Haley told WTSP-TV. “It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they’re not. If he wasn’t the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else.”

Sergeant Ferguson, 39, who had recently returned from Afghanistan, was among the three people killed and 16 wounded in the Fort Hood shooting. Two other soldiers shot and killed have been identified. They are Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, and Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez, 38.

As my colleagues, Ashley Southall and Steven Yaccino, reported, Fort Hood officials have not yet released the names of the victims of Wednesday’s shooting, but friends and family members are beginning to speak about loved ones lost and hurt.

In Puerto Rico, Mayor Carlos Méndez Martínez of Aguadilla told CNN en Español that Sergeant Rodriguez was planning to retire. “It was a very close-knit family,” Mr. Méndez told CNN. “Excellent, decent, very good people. I know his family and his parents. They are good people.”

Mary Muntean, 77, of Effingham, Ill., told The Associated Press that she had learned of the death of her son, Sergeant Owens, in a telephone call with her daughter-in-law, Billy Owens.

On her Facebook page, a teenage daughter of Sergeant Owens posted a photograph of herself with her father, and this message, upon learning the news:

Today at fort hood there was a shooting…my father sadly died tonight …. I still feel like it’s all a dream…. Can’t feel anything … I just want everyone to think for a moment …. If you have family your fighting with forgive them, love them, because you never know when there gonna be taken from you ….. I love dad and I hate that you were taken away from me …. I love you daddy