One of the three people Spc. Iván López’s killed at Fort Hood on Wednesday was a fellow Puerto Rican who had recently served at an Army base in Hawaii.
Soldier Carlos Lazaney, 38, was identified by a Puerto Rican newspaper as one of the victims killed by a hail of bullets after Lopez opened fire in the Army base and then turned the gun on himself. The two others who died were Army Sgt. Danny Ferguson and Army Sgt. Timothy Owens. Sixteen people were injured.
It is unclear whether Lopez and Lazaney knew each other.
Lazaney’s aunt, Bernardina Lassarinni, said she got a call from Lazaney’s immediate family, who lives in Tampa, Fla., telling her the news, El Nuevo Día reported Friday.
Lassarinni said her nephew joined the military at age 18. The mayor of Aguadilla told Fox News Latino that several members of the Lazaney family, including Carlos Lazaney's father, were U.S. military veterans.
His parents and three brothers were “very affected” by the death, she said. Lazaney’s dad is very ill and was not immediately told that his son had died.
Lazaney’s hometown is Aguadilla, in the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico and on the opposite side of the island from Guayanilla, where López hailed from. Fort Hood has a large Puerto Rican population, both in the base and in the town.
"[Lazaney] was the epitome of what you would want a leader to be in the Army," said Joshua Adams, who served with him at Schofield Barracks, in the Hawaiian city of Honolulu. "He was always taking care of soldiers. He survived all these deployments (including Iraq), just to come back ... It's super unfortunate,” he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
"It wouldn't surprise me if he was trying to evacuate people, because he's just that kind of guy," he added. "If you met him one time in your life, you would remember him," he said.
Adams said Lazaney served as a supply sergeant with the 57th Military Police Company and the 728th Military Police Battalion at Schofield Barracks, and left Hawaii in 2011 for his new assignment at Fort Hood.
Aguadilla’s mayor, Carlos Mendez Martinez, who is a friend of the family, told Fox News Latino that Lazaney had been planning to retire in December.
"He was anxious to retire, and he was going to finally retire with full benefits," said the mayor, who also served in the U.S. military and spent some time at Fort Hood.
"This is a good family, very dedicated, a family of military people," Mendez said. "Life is so short, you just never know."
Mendez said the city, with a population of about 63,000, most likely will hold a tribute to Lazaney.
"We first need to know whether he'll be buried in Puerto Rico or on the mainland, since that is where Carlos and his family lived since many years ago," Mendez said. "Even if he's buried over there, the city will do something to honor him."