Family, Neighbors Of Ivan Lopez Left To Wonder



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The quaint Puerto Rico house where Ivan Lopez grew up sits empty these days, his horrified family in hiding while reeling from a mix of shock and fear.
Neighbors watched as the killer’s dad and sister gathered the dead man’s clothes about 36 hours after Lopez was identified as the triggerman in the Fort Hood shooting spree.
The pair left the town of Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, under cover of darkness.
A black-clad Ivanis Lopez “was pretty shaken,” said next-door neighbor Shelly Ruiz, 50. “Every time a car stopped or slowed down by the house, she would get rattled — maybe afraid of revenge or the press.”

The 34-year-old Ivan Lopez who murdered three fellow soldiers and wounded another 16 people last Wednesday is not the boy or the man known to the 23,000 residents of the fishing village.  To them, the deranged gunman was the son of a religious family, a percussionist who once played in New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, a devoted dad and a friend.

“He was always a good person,” said Ronald Lopez, a cousin who grew up down the street from the shooter. “He was always interested in the Army and playing drums.  He never caused any problems . . . My mom is devastated. She was like his second mom.”
But now neighbors walk down the street where Lopez once played hide-and-seek, speaking in whispers about the family’s misfortunes. “You would not expect this to happen to this family,” said Alexis Sanchez, 49, who lived across the street. “Not this family.”

The Lopez family, after releasing a three-paragraph statement urging prayers for all involved, has quietly dodged the media.

But Ruiz recounted a conversation shared inside her home with Ivanis Lopez one day after the killings.
“She said, ‘I can’t believe what’s happening, what he did,’” recalled Ruiz. “She looked sad. I’m sure she has done a lot of crying. I tried to console her.”
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