Fiancée: Soldier killed at Fort Hood was holding door closed to protect others

Families mourn those killed in shootings at Fort Hood.

By Frances Burns
The main gate at the Fort Hood Army Base is seen on South Fort Hood Street in Killeen, Texas. UPI/Robert Hughes
The main gate at the Fort Hood Army Base is seen on South Fort Hood Street in Killeen, Texas. UPI/Robert Hughes | License Photo

KILLEEN, Texas, April 4 (UPI) -- One of the three soldiers killed at Fort Hood in Texas died trying to save others by holding a door closed, his fiancée says.

Kristen Haley, also a soldier at Fort Hood, described the last moments of Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson's life in an interview with WTSP-TV in Tampa, Fla. She said Ferguson had just come back from Afghanistan to Fort Hood, where he was a movement specialist.


"He held that door shut because it wouldn't lock. It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they're not," Haley said. "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."

Ferguson, 34, was from Mulberry, Fla. He was a star athlete at Mulberry High School, where he won letters in five sports, including football, baseball, basketball and track.

Sgt. Ivan Lopez, 34, took his own life after killing three soldiers Wednesday. He served four months in Iraq and was being screened for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Another victim, Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez was originally from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Mayor Carlos Mendez said most of his family is now living in Tampa.


"It was a very close-knit family," Mendez said. "Excellent, decent, very good people. I know his family and his parents. They are good people."

Mendez said that Lazaney Rodriguez, 38, was approaching his 20-year anniversary and planning to retire from the Army.

Sgt. Timothy Owens was planning to make the Army his career, his mother, Mary Muntean, told WICS-TV in Springfield, Ill.

"Very terrible that they had to shoot my son," Muntean said. "He was a good person. Why would they shoot a good person that was helping them?"

Lopez, like Lazaney Rodriguez, was from Puerto Rico and had served as a police officer there. Friends in Guayanilla said he came from a musical family and played in a marching band.

He had recently moved to Killeen, Texas, after being transferred from Fort Bliss to Fort Hood.

Investigators say Lopez paid his rent and added his wife's name to their apartment lease Wednesday before the shootings.

"He seemed pretty fine, happy," a neighbor, Ayesha Bradley, told CNN, saying she saw him that afternoon. "He didn't seem like, you know, like the type that would do what he did."


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