PHOENIX — Valley military veteran Ivan Lopez’s wife, Ysabel, was shocked when reporters asked if she was aware Lopez shot and killed himself.
“My daughter was within hearing distance and heard that and just started crying,” Lopez said. “I’m resentful, yes. It takes a lot to get to me but my thing was that’s my daughter.”
The 32-year-old Army specialist, who now lives in Phoenix, was stationed at Fort Hood between September 2007 and March 2011. A man by the same name is the alleged Fort Hood shooter, who shot and killed three, wounded 16 more before taking his own life on April 2.
“What are the chances? It has to be one in a million,” Lopez said, shocked by the similarity between him and the shooter. “We have similar birthdays. We’re like two years apart and just being in Fort Hood with the same rank and same name.”
In 2011, Lopez retired from the United States Army because he developed diabetes but many friends were unaware.
“I started getting phone calls from everyone saying, ‘Hey man, another shooting happened and this guy’s name is Ivan Lopez as well. Are you okay? It’s not you is it?'”
Lopez called and texted friends and family to clarify that he was not the shooter. Then reporters started calling.
“I started getting phone calls from random newspapers out of Texas and news media out of New York and California,” he said.
The calls kept coming.
“My phone was non-stop ringing until 4 a.m. the following morning.”
Lopez said he patiently explained the coincidence to every media outlet that called.
“I told them that I was in the service, I did serve in Fort Hood, but, I’m not the shooter. I’m in Phoenix.”
Then a photo of him, taken by the Killeen Daily Herald in 2010, started showing up on the web. Many people posted Lopez’s picture on social media attributing the Fort Hood shooting to him.
“People were just cutting and pasting that photo off the Internet and uploading it everywhere.”
Lopez said he’s trying to laugh off the mistakes but needs to restore his reputation.
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas