HEWITT, Texas, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A soldier who defused explosives in Iraq and killed himself in Texas had become "a ticking time bomb," his father said.
Police said Spc. Armando Aguilar shot himself in the head at a gas station Aug. 21 after leading a policeman on a 10-mile chase, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Aguilar, 26, a member of Fort Hood's 87th Sapper Company, was at least the 15th serviceman at the huge Texas base to commit suicide this year, Army records show.
Aguilar's mental deterioration may have begun after his buddy from basic training committed suicide while in Iraq, Aguilar's family told the Express-News. A month before his suicide, he thought he was seeing shadows of his friend.
Aguilar was twice hospitalized after attempted overdoses and was put on suicide watch. Two weeks before his death, he was put on anti-psychotic medication, which his family said may have backfired.
"He was a ticking time bomb already," said the soldier's father, Armando Aguilar Sr.
Statistics for the year through August show the Army had recorded 196 confirmed or suspected suicides.