Heavy rain in West Texas floats some travel trailers, mobile home from RV park, nobody hurt
Heavy rain in West Texas floats some travel trailers away
Associated Press | Oct 22, 2015 8:46 PM CDT
DALLAS (AP) — Heavy rain in West Texas on Thursday led to flooding that floated several travel trailers and a double-wide mobile home away from an RV park.
Amber Edwards looks at the mud and water that covered the floor of her home in the 2500 block of North Tom Green Avenue in Odessa, Texas Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, following the overnight storm. Edwards… (Associated Press)
Central El Paso resident Abraham Silva sweeps hail from his front patio after a storm Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2015, in El Paso, Texas. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP) (Associated Press)
Upton County Sheriff Dan Brown said nobody was in the trailers during the flooding in Rankin, 60 miles south of Odessa. The occupants safely evacuated.
A hailstorm with the same slow-moving system blanketed parts of El Paso on Wednesday. The rain is expected to increase in intensity Friday and Saturday as Hurricane Patricia in the eastern Pacific Ocean makes landfall Friday near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and moves north toward Texas.
Odessa Emergency Management said crews there on Thursday conducted about 30 swift-water rescues from stranded vehicles and flooded structures.
Over 10 million people in the south-central U.S. face potential flash flooding as a slow-moving storm dumps heavy rain through the weekend — and only intensifies in the wake of Hurricane Patricia, forecasters warn.
Cars were reportedly stranded by floodwaters in Corsicana, south of Dallas, after nearly 10 inches of rain fell by Friday afternoon since midnight, the National Weather Service said.
Officials in Galveston County were considering a voluntary evacuation of Bolivar Peninsula but would reevaluate Saturday morning.
Much of central and southeast Texas were under a flood watch Friday and there were flash flood warnings issued for Navarro and Hamilton counties, according to the National Weather Service.
Over 4 inches of rain fell on Collins by Friday afternoon and more than 6 inches of rain fell over 48 hours in parts of Tarrant County by Friday afternoon, the NWS said.
In total, parts of Texas could see 3 to 6 inches — and upwards of 10 inches locally — through Sunday, aid Lamont Bain, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office, said.
That’s because Patricia, the strongest storm ever measured on the planet, is expected to make landfall along Mexico’s Pacific coast Friday night before pushing north into the United States.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The worst of a rural Texas wildfire that has destroyed nearly 50 structures is likely over as firefighters make big strides containing more than 7 miles of scorched and bone-dry forestland, authorities said Friday.
Some residents remain unable to return to their homes on barricaded roads in Bastrop County. But officials said the fire that began Tuesday and grew big enough to waft smoke into downtown Austin, some 40 miles away from the fire, now appears to be getting under control.
“Barring some totally unforeseen circumstance, we’re on the downhill side of this fire,” Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said.
(NaturalNews) Go to Whole Foods today, pick a rice protein product off the shelf, and ask the store manager why they are selling rice protein containing toxic heavy metals at such high levels that they often exceed California Prop. 65 limits by over 1,000%! The answer you get may shock you: some Whole Foods employees and store managers are falsely claiming there are no heavy metals in the products they sell!
One store employee told a Natural News contributing writer, “Oh, that’s just somebody on the internet. We would never sell something if it had heavy metals in it.” (Really? Then they are sadly misinformed…)
A store manager at another store actually said, “That’s been debunked. Mike Adams doesn’t even have a lab. There are no heavy metals in the proteins we sell.” (Except that there are, see results below…)
Some Whole Foods employees, in other words, seem to have no clue that the products they’re representing — including “organic” products — contain concerning levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. They may have even been instructed to provide false and misleading answers when customers ask about the issue. What they don’t seem to be telling customers is that just one scoop of a rice protein sold at Whole Foods can expose you to over 1,000% the daily lead limit defined by California Prop. 65.
Join the action campaign: Go to Whole Foods today and ASK
To set the record straight, I’m asking you to go to your local Whole Foods store TODAY and ask the store manager this question: “Why are you selling rice proteins containing such high levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten?”
Email the response you get to firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to include the city of the store. (We won’t use your name, don’t worry. But we are collecting responses from various Whole Foods stores to see how many are informed about this issue.)
This is where a lot of the rice protein sold at Whole Foods really comes from. But instead of admitting these products contain toxic heavy metals, some Whole Foods managers appear to be routinely misleading customers.
Confirmed: Whole Foods keeps selling rice protein products containing high levels of toxic heavy metals
Just to make sure this is still going on, I went to the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin Texas last week and purchased nearly $700 worth of products (see the scan of my receipt, to the right). The receipt appears to be in two parts because Whole Foods prints items on the FRONT and the BACK of each receipt, so I had to stitch together two photos.
The results of testing these rice proteins in my ICP-MS laboratory — the Natural News Forensic Food Labs — once again confirms alarming levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten in multiple rice protein products sold by Whole Foods. If you’re curious how I found tungsten in these products, click here to see the videos from our lab.
Here are just some of the results we found from rice proteins purchased at Whole Foods last week (1,000 ppb = 1 ppm)
Brown Rice Chocolate Protein (Lot #50696014) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 312 ppb (over 1,000% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1015 ppb
Tungsten: YES (“YES” means tungsten was detected at significant concentrations)
Raw Rice Protein Chocolate (Lot #I3553A #I3562) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 311 ppb (over 1400% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1731 ppb
The chair of the Texas Senate’s veteran affairs committee on Monday called for an independent investigation into allegations that wait time data was manipulated at Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in Central Texas and San Antonio.
Sen. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, made her comments as the burgeoning scandal over VA patient care reached the Rio Grande Valley, where a former VA doctor accused the department of delaying colonoscopies for veterans with cancer and jeopardizing veterans’ visits to non-VA specialists because the agency took so long to reimburse private providers.
In Austin, Van de Putte demanded accountability from top VA leaders over claims that scheduling clerks were trained to falsely input appointment data to make it appear that waiting times were far shorter than they really are. The VA aims to see patients within 14 days of their desired appointment dates, and medical centers are graded on their ability to hit those targets.
“It appears the motivation for the deception…was a personal pay day in the form of a VA performance bonus,” Van de Putte said. “Someone is responsible. These scheduling clerks didn’t just decide to falsify reports all over the country at the same time…The allegations show a pattern that crosses multiple clinics and shows the actions were condoned at a pretty high level.”
The claims of whistleblower Brian Turner, a VA scheduling clerk who said he saw data manipulation in Waco, Austin and San Antonio, were first reported by the American-Statesman last week.
On Monday, new allegations emerged against the VA Health Care Center in Harlingen, and officials with the VA’s Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, which oversees the facility. Dr. Richard Krugman, former associate chief of staff at the center, told investigators that “patient care was impacted by the VA’s requirements to cut costs,” according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today announced on Fox News he has sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after several reports surfaced of abuse and mismanagement in VA clinics in Texas and across the country. The letter asks several questions of Sec. Shinseki, and calls on the Secretary to provide answers during his testimony before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday, May 15. A video of Sen. Cornyn’s Fox News interview regarding VA failures can be viewed here. Sen. Cornyn’s questions for Sec. Shinseki include:
“Can you confirm that supervisors at VA facilities in Texas have not and are not ordering employees to ‘game the system’ by concealing wait times?
“Can you confirm that veterans diagnosed with cancer of any kind that requires chemotherapy are provided that treatment in a timely manner by the VA?
“Can you confirm that any bonuses or pay raises are on hold for senior leaders at VA facilities in San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Harlingen, and all VA facilities where similar allegations have been made?
“Can you confirm that staff at facilities currently under investigation for allegations of falsified reports will not be assigned to investigate other VA facilities?
“Can you confirm that documents are being preserved at all Texas VA facilities?”
The full text of the letter is below and attached.
May 13, 2014
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Secretary Shinseki:
I write to reiterate my deep concern regarding the numerous, troubling reports that continue to surface regarding mistreatment of our nation’s veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the country. These reports indicate that incidents—including the withholding of life-saving care from some veterans—were the result of a culture of cover-ups, indifference as to the health and welfare of our veterans, and a complete lack of accountability that pervades your Department. Yet, the Administration’s response to these troubling revelations has been lethargic and its inaction puzzling.
During your testimony before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday, I call on you to provide direct, clear answers to these questions:
1. According to recent reports, you have ordered a “face-to-face audit” of all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics. Can you describe in detail how you intend for this audit to be conducted, its timeline for completion, and what measures are being taken to ensure these audits are conducted in an independent and transparent manner? If the allegations are substantiated, what type of action are you willing to take to right these wrongs, and how will the responsible officials be held accountable?
2. A whistleblower in Texas claims that during his time as a scheduling clerk for VA facilities in Austin, San Antonio, and Waco, he was directed by supervisors to hide true wait times by inputting false records into the VA’s scheduling system. VA officials in San Antonio deny this, while VA officials in Austin claim employees may have been discouraged from using the electronic scheduling tool that would reveal long wait times, but that those orders did not come from “executive leadership.” Can you confirm that supervisors at VA facilities in Texas have not and are not ordering employees to “game the system” by concealing wait times?
3. An Austin-based surgeon recently contacted my office to inform me he is not accepting any further subcontracts from the VA due to failures in patient care that he has personally witnessed. Specifically, he saw a veteran in August of 2013 who was referred to him by the VA after they detected a lesion they suspected was cancerous. Already two months had lapsed between the time they detected the lesion and the time he saw the veteran. This surgeon performed a biopsy and diagnosed it as laryngeal cancer. He informed the VA that the veteran needed immediate chemotherapy – that they had a real chance to treat his cancer if they started chemotherapy right away. Almost two months later, he followed up on his case only to learn the VA never provided chemotherapy, with no good excuse as to why. The veteran died several days later. Can you confirm that veterans diagnosed with cancer of any kind that requires chemotherapy are provided that treatment in a timely manner by the VA?
4. A whistleblower in South Texas who formerly served as associate chief of staff for the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System in Harlingen, TX, told the Washington Examiner this week that roughly 15,000 patients who should have had the potentially life-saving colonoscopy procedure either did not receive it or were forced to wait longer than they should have. He also claims that approximately 1,800 records were purged to give the false appearance of eliminating a backlog. Can you confirm that veterans requiring colonoscopies to detect cancer are provided with the procedure in a timely manner?
5. In 2012, VA medical facilities in Central Texas reported that 96 percent of veterans were seen by providers within 14 days of their preferred appointment date. In the South Texas region that includes San Antonio, the statistics were even more impressive: 97 percent of veterans were seen within two weeks, according to annual performance reports. Can you produce documents that show the original dates of veterans’ requests for appointments for 2012?
6. According to public records, the director of the Phoenix VA hospital, where news investigations have discovered at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care and languishing on secret lists, received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013. Can you confirm that any bonuses or pay raises are on hold for senior leaders at VA facilities in San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Harlingen, and all VA facilities where similar allegations have been made?
7. My staff attended a Quarterly Congressional Staffer and Veterans Service Organization Representative Meeting at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHS) Friday, May 9, 2014. Sallie Houser-Hanfelder, director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, told meeting attendees that, as part of the face-to-face audits you have ordered, a quality systems manager from CTVHS would be sent to another VA facility to assist with investigations there. Can you confirm that staff at facilities currently under investigation for allegations of falsified reports will not be assigned to investigate other VA facilities?
8. A former VA employee at the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center told the Daily Caller that employees at the Center destroyed veterans’ medical files in a systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests. The former employee said, “The waiting list counts against the hospital’s efficiency. He said the chief of the Center’s Radiology Department initiated an “ongoing discussion in the department” to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus artificially reducing the backlog. In addition, you have been subpoenaed by the House Veterans Affairs Committee over concerns by Chairman Jeff Miller that evidence in Phoenix may have been destroyed after the Committee issued a document-preservation order on April 9. A top VA official testified on April 24 that a spreadsheet of patient appointment records, which may have been a “secret list” proving misconduct, was shredded or discarded. Can you confirm that documents are being preserved at all Texas VA facilities?
I look forward to your prompt and detailed responses to these pressing questions.
According to Thursday’s publication of the Star-Telegram, the Fort Worth, Texas, veterinarian who was arrested after being accused of keeping a dog alive for his blood, has admitted that there are more dogs who suffered the same fate.
Dr. Lou Tierce, 71, of the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, told officials that there were actually five dogs who were kept alive at his clinic after their owners asked for them to be euthanized. Investigators found a virtual house of horrors inside of the clinic when they conducted a raid earlier this week.
Three dogs discovered inside of the facility earlier this week were in “such decrepit shape” that they had to be humanely euthanized. Investigators also found bugs, unsecured medications and exam rooms littered with trash, laundry and paperwork. One of the most disturbing finds was the doctor’s own dog, who was on an exam room floor – court documents state that the dog was missing a leg, had two dislocated shoulders and another dislocated leg.
Veterinarian accused of keeping dog alive for blood surrenders to authorities
May 1, 2014
According to Thursday’s publication of the Star-Telegram, the Fort Worth, Texas, veterinarian who has been accused of keeping a dog alive in order to utilize the dog’s blood, has surrendered to the authorities.
Dr. Lou Tierce, 71, of the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday evening – he was arrested and then released after posting bail. An arrest warrant was issued for the veterinarian, for a charge of animal cruelty, after a couple came forward with a complaint accusing the doctor of telling them that their dog had been euthanized months ago, when the dog was actually being kept alive, supposedly in order for the clinic to utilize him for blood transfusions.
Dr. Tierce denies the allegations and he has pointed the finger of blame on a disgruntled former employee – the woman who quit and then told Jamie and Marian Harris that their dog, “Sid,” was not dead, but instead, very much alive inside of a cage at the vet clinic.
The couple managed to get inside of the veterinary hospital to retrieve their dog – they claim that another veterinarian later examined Sid and told them that the dog appeared to have been used repeatedly for blood transfusions. The Harrises have stated that they were advised by Dr. Tierce to have the dog euthanized because he was suffering from a degenerative spinal condition.
Texas vet clinic accused of stealing dog, using him for blood transfusions
April 29, 2014
According to Tuesday’s WFAA News, a Fort Worth, Texas, veterinary clinic is being investigated because a couple claims that their dog, who was supposed to have been euthanized months ago, was being kept alive and used for blood transfusions.
Months ago, Jamie and Marian Harris claim that they had asked for their dog “Sid,” to be put down at the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic because they were told that the dog suffered from a degenerative spinal condition. On April 21, the couple learned that something was amiss when a veterinary technician, who had worked at the clinic, called them to let them know that Sid was still alive.
A Swisher County resident, in Texas’ Panhandle, is the Lone Star State’s first case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Thursday. Health officials believe exposure occurred in a rodent-infested barn when dust was stirred up. They report has recovered from the viral infection. Hantavirus is a life-threatening disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza. Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick. It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with the dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time. Hantavirus does not spread between humans. HPS has a mortality rate of 38% according to the agency.
Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
The Texas Department of State Health Services offers precaution information after a Texas Panhandle resident recently developed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS.
The person is a resident of Swisher County and has recovered from the infection. Exposure most likely occurred in a rodent-infested barn when dust was stirred up. This is the first confirmed case of HPS in Texas this year. One case was reported in the state last year.
Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice. The illness is rare. Infected rodents shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people when infected rat or mouse urine, saliva, droppings or nesting materials are stirred up, temporarily aerosolizing the virus, which can be breathed in by humans. HPS cases are frequently associated with spring cleaning.
DSHS recommends the following precautions.
Seal openings that may allow rats and mice to enter homes and workplaces.
Remove brush, woodpiles, trash and other items that may attract rats and mice.
Tightly close garbage cans, pet food containers and other food sources.
Wear protective gloves to handle dead mice and rats or to clean up nesting areas, urine or droppings.
Before cleaning up nests or droppings found inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the area for at least 30 minutes.
Do not stir up nests by sweeping or vacuuming. Dampen areas before cleanup.
Use a disinfectant or 1-to-10 bleach-water mixture to clean up dead rodents, nests, urine and droppings.
Early symptoms of hantavirus infection include fatigue, fever and muscle aches. These symptoms may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. If hantavirus is suspected, people should contact their health care provider immediately.
A total of 39 HPS cases have been confirmed in Texas since 1993, the first year it was reported, and 14 of those cases resulted in death.
(News Media Contact:Christine Mann, DSHS Press Officer, 512-776-7511)
Our Fort Worth shelter rescue baby, born with no front legs is 10 days old today! ♥ This little guy is a fighter – weighing in at 5.7 ounces and continues to thrive! ♥ He was rescued and is being raised by Friends Of Emma of Fort Worth, TX ~ Visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfEmm…
Transparency activist Ryan Shapiro discusses a growing controversy over the FBI’s monitoring of Occupy Houston in 2011. The case centers on what the FBI knew about an alleged assassination plot against Occupy leaders and why it failed to share this information. The plot was first revealed in a heavily redacted document obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund through a FOIA request. The document mentioned an individual “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas.” When Shapiro asked for more details, the FBI said it found 17 pages of pertinent records and gave him five of them, with some information redacted. Shapiro sued, alleging the FBI had improperly invoked FOIA exemptions.
Why Did FBI Monitor Occupy Houston, and Then Hide Sniper Plot Against Protest Leaders?
Transparency activist Ryan Shapiro discusses a growing controversy over the FBI’s monitoring of Occupy Houston in 2011. The case centers on what the FBI knew about an alleged assassination plot against Occupy leaders and why it failed to share this information. The plot was first revealed in a heavily redacted document obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund through a FOIA request. The document mentioned an individual “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas.” When Shapiro asked for more details, the FBI said it found 17 pages of pertinent records and gave him five of them, with some information redacted. Shapiro sued, alleging the FBI had improperly invoked FOIA exemptions. Last week, Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed with Shapiro, ruling the FBI had to explain why it withheld the records.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMYGOODMAN: I want to talk about your work around animal rights activism and getting information, but I want to first turn to Occupy Houston. You have been working on getting information from the FBI around Occupy Houston. The particular issue focuses on what the FBI knew about an alleged assassination plot in 2011 against leaders of Occupy Houston and why it failed to share this information. The plot was first revealed in a heavily redacted document obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice through a FOIA request. It read, quote, “An identified [REDACTED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary,” unquote. When our guest, Ryan Shapiro, asked for more details, the FBI said it found 17 pages of pertinent records and gave him five of them with some information redacted. So, Ryan Shapiro, you sued, alleging the FBI had improperly invoked FOIA exemptions.
Last week, Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer seemed to agree with you, when she ruled the FBI had to explain why it withheld records. She made reference in her ruling to David Hardy, the head of the FBI’s FOIA division, writing, quote, “At no point does Mr. Hardy supply specific facts as to the basis for FBI’s belief that the Occupy protesters might have been engaged in terroristic or other criminal activity. … Neither the word ‘terrorism’ nor the phrase ‘advocating the overthrow of the government’ are talismanic, especially where FBI purports to be investigating individuals who ostensibly are engaged in protected First Amendment activity.”
Ryan Shapiro, explain what the judge ruled and what “talismanic” means.
This article originally appeared on Houston Chronicle
A federal judge has ordered the FBI to explain why it withheld some information requested by a graduate student for his research on a plot to assassinate Occupy Houston protest leaders.
Ryan Noah Shapiro, a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., filed a lawsuit April 29, 2013, against the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer issued her order, with an accompanying memo, on March 12.
The FBI, as part of the Department of Justice, controls the records Shapiro wanted for his study of “conflicts at the nexus of American national security, law enforcement and political dissent,” the plaintiff’s complaint stated.
Houston was among hundreds of U.S. cities where protesters occupied outdoor spaces as part of the Occupy Movement that started in New York’s Zucotti Park on Sept. 17, 2011.
“The movement has sought to expose how the wealthiest 1 percent of society promulgates an unfair global economy that harms people and destroys communities worldwide,” the complaint stated.
Shapiro said in his complaint that the existence of an assassination plot against Occupy Houston’s leaders became known through the FBI’s earlier release of information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
“According to one of the released records, … [REDACTED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles…,” Shapiro stated in his complaint.
Shapiro requested additional information from the FBI in January 2013.
“There is presently a vigorous and extraordinarily important debate in the United States about the authority of the government to conduct extrajudicial killings on American soil,” the complaint stated.
“The records sought by plaintiff would likely be an invaluable contribution to the public discourse on this issue,” Shapiro’s complaint said. “It would also be a significant controversy if it was revealed that the FBI deliberately failed to act to prevent a plot to assassinate American protest leaders.”
Soldier’s ‘Courageous Act’ Remembered as Fort Hood Begins Healing
In a final heroic act, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson threw his body against the entryway of a door as a fellow soldier-turned-gunman blasted away in a terrifying rampage at Fort Hood.
Ferguson, 39, was fatally hit in the moment he became a human shield — a sacrifice remembered in a news conference Saturday.
Ferguson’s “courageous act of blocking the door with his own body prevented further bloodshed,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas.
Also killed in Wednesday’s shooting were Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, and Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38. Sixteen others were wounded. Gunman Spc. Ivan Lopez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
Rep. Williams, along with Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, met some of the wounded soldiers Saturday, and commended them on their valor. Among the victims was Maj. Patrick Miller, who was shot in the stomach with Lopez’s .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
Miller had called 911 as he tended to his own wounds.
Timothy Wayne Owens, a counselor at Fort Hood, was known to friends as a stand-up guy who triumphed over a hardscrabble upbringing to become an empathetic military man, one who helped people and defused conflicts.
So, it was no surprise to residents in his home town of Effingham, Ill., to hear that Owens lost his life trying to calm the shooter in Wednesday’s Fort Hood killings.
“He was a brave man,” said Owens’s mother, Mary Muntean, 77, who said she learned that her son had been killed as he tried to talk with Ivan Lopez, who has been identified as the man who killed three people and injured 16 in the shooting on the Army post.
Muntean said she received a call at her Effingham home from her son’s wife, Billy Owens, on Wednesday evening telling her that he had been shot five times after trying to calm Lopez in a post parking lot. Military officials have not released the names of those killed or injured or confirmed reports of how the violence unfolded. But friends of Owens said the account provided by his family fits the man they knew.
Among Fort Hood Victims, a Sergeant Is Killed, and a Major Is Wounded
By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and STEVEN YACCINOAPRIL 3, 2014
The names of the victims of the shooting in Fort Hood began to come out on Thursday, released by relatives and by officials offering their condolences.
In Effingham, Ill., family members told The Associated Press that Army Sgt. Timothy Owens was one of the three soldiers killed Wednesday in a mass shooting by Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez. Sixteen others were wounded in the shooting. The Army has not released a list of the victims, pending notification of relatives.
The mother of Sergeant Owens, Mary Muntean, 77, of Effingham, told The Associated Press that she had learned of her son’s death in a telephone call with her daughter-in-law.
Unable to reach her son, she called his wife, Billie Owens, who first said he was in the hospital. Before long, Sergeant Owens’s wife called back, and Mrs. Muntean had her worst fears confirmed. “She said, ‘Mom, I want to tell you how sorry I am. Tim’s gone,’ ” Mrs. Muntean said, according to The A.P. “I broke down.”
Sergeant Owens dropped out of high school in 1995. But his mother said he earned his high school equivalency after joining the Army in 2004.
A friend and former roommate, Paul Eatherton, said Sergeant Owens, whose family moved back to Effingham from Missouri in the mid-1990s, worked at Pizza Hut and studied tae kwon do at a local gym. Mr. Eatherton, a martial arts instructor at the time, said Sergeant Owens got his black belt and started teaching at a gym in Effingham.
“He was the best student I’d ever seen or known,” Mr. Eatherton said. “We’d go to tournaments, and he’d bring first places home every time.”
He said Sergeant Owens, who was in his mid-30s, had recently signed up for another six years in the Army. “I think he was going to be a lifer,” he said. He said he had not talked to Sergeant Owens for several months, but when he heard news of the shooting, he texted him immediately. He got no reply. “That really worried me,” he said.
The commander of Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, said in an afternoon news conference, that nine of the 16 people wounded in the attack were taken to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, Tex., for treatment. Three were upgraded to serious condition on Thursday. Hospital officials said doctors had operated on two patients, a man and a woman, who had been shot in the abdomen and neck. The third person had an abdominal wound. The other victims taken there were discharged.
Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez had seen a military psychiatrist as recently as last month. He was being treated for depression and anxiety, and had been prescribed Ambien to help him sleep. He had come back from a four-month deployment to Iraq in 2011 and told superiors he had suffered a traumatic head injury there. But military officials said he had never seen combat, and there was no record of any combat-related injury. He was being evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress disorder.
Still, military officials said, they had seen nothing to indicate that Specialist Lopez, 34 — who killed three people and himself and wounded 16 others on Wednesday in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Tex. — was violent or suicidal.
“He had a clean record,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said Thursday morning in testimony before a Senate panel in Washington. “No outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.”
Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Fort Hood commander, said Thursday at a news conference that there were “very strong indications” that there had been a “verbal altercation” between Specialist Lopez and one or more other soldiers in the minutes before the shooting started, but the authorities were still investigating what role, if any, that played in the attack.
“We have very strong evidence looking into his medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric condition,” General Milley said.
Friends from his hometown in Puerto Rico said that Specialist Lopez was angry with the Army when he returned home for his mother’s funeral in November. Ismael Gonzalez, a former schoolmate who had kept in contact with Specialist Lopez on Facebook, said the soldier was very upset that he had initially been given only 24 hours to attend the funeral.
In addition, Mr. Gonzalez said, Specialist Lopez, who was earning $28,000 a year, told him that he was “in a precarious economic situation” trying to support his family in Texas and two children in Puerto Rico from his first marriage. And he was angry that the Army would not allow him to move his family onto the base at Fort Hood, Mr. Gonzalez said.
None of this had found its way into Specialist Lopez’s official record, though.
“This was an experienced soldier,” said Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff. “He spent actually nine years in the Puerto Rico National Guard before coming on active duty, so he’s a very experienced soldier.”
Those who knew Specialist Lopez as a young man, obsessed with the high school band, were even more stunned to learn what he was suspected of doing.
“I cannot believe you are speaking about the same guy,” said Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, one of Specialist Lopez’s superiors in the National Guard. “He was the most responsible, obedient, humble person, and one of the most skillful guys on the line.”
For a year beginning in 2006, Specialist Lopez was deployed with his guard unit on the Sinai Peninsula, watching the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
But, the authorities say, it was Specialist Lopez who went into Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., near Fort Hood on March 1 and bought the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol that was used in the shootings on Wednesday.
It was the same gun store where Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army major, had bought at least one of the weapons used in a 2009 mass shooting on the base.
So information was emerging slowly on Thursday about Mr. Lopez. He was raised in the small fishing village of Guayanilla on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, about an hour and a half from San Juan. While there, he attended the School of Asunción Rodríguez de Sala, where he was active in the band and an enthusiastic drummer.
In 1999, he joined the National Guard, where he also played in the band. Later, he joined the Puerto Rico Police Department and became a member of its band. Officials said his record with the force was clean, with no disciplinary or behavioral problems.
His main job for the police was visiting schools and hospitals around Puerto Rico to give demonstrations on his percussion instruments. After he finished, other police officers would speak to the students or patients about gun violence, drugs and bullying, said Jeann Correa, the director of the unit for which he worked. His pay was $2,400 a month.
In 2010, getting a special leave from the police force, he shifted into the Army as a private first class and was quickly promoted to specialist and stationed with the First Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tex. He was an infantryman there but his military record shows that in November, because of a medical condition identified as plantar fasciitis, a painful foot ailment, he moved to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he trained to become a truck driver. In February, he was posted to Fort Hood in that capacity.
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