On Friday officials released the names of the three soldiers killed in the Ft. Hood shooting: All had been in the military for years, served overseas and received a number of commendations.
At a news conference Friday, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said Daniel Ferguson, 39; Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38; and Timothy Owens, 37; were killed in Wednesday's attack, which left an additional 16 wounded.
Milley said Spc. Ivan Lopez killed the three men after an "escalating argument within his unit area." Lopez turned the gun on himself after being confronted by a military police officer.
Ferguson, of Mulberry, Fla., entered the U.S. Army in 1993 as a private and was promoted to sergeant 1st Class in 2004.
He had been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and twice to Kuwait.
Ferguson was shot as he held shut an unlocked door to protect a room full of military personnel, said his fiancee, Kristen Haley, in an interview with WTSP-10 in Tampa Bay, Fla.
"If he was not being the one against the door, holding it," Haley said, "that shooter would've been able to get through and shoot everyone else."
A man who answered the phone at the family home in Lakeland, Fla., said they were not yet prepared to speak with the media.
"I know that he did have pleasure of serving," Haley said. "This was his life. He was proud to be part of a great service."
Ferguson was a transportation management coordinator at Ft. Hood, where he had been stationed since September 2010.
He received an Bronze Star, three meritorious service medals and five army commendation medals, among other awards.
Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38, was born in Puerto Rico and joined the Army in January 1994, according to his military record. He was a staff sergeant and had been stationed at Ft. Hood since February 2012.
He was deployed to Iraq twice, from April 2007 to April 2008 and from July 2009 to July 2010. He received a number of awards including four commendation medals, three achievement medals and a national defense service medal.
Devin Dawes, a former sergeant in the Army and a military police officer, served with him in Honolulu and in Iraq.
Lazaney-Rodriguez was a "Star Wars" buff, said Dawes, and had a bobble-head collection of the movies' characters.
Lazaney-Rodriguez was tough, but also very caring, Dawes said Friday.
"When you got to know him he was very down to earth," Dawes said. "He would always check my uniform before the start of the day. He always led by example."
Timothy Owens, 37, enlisted in the Army in June 2004 and became a sergeant. He had tours in Kuwait and Iraq.
He had been stationed at Ft. Hood since 2011 and was a motor transport operator, according to his military records. Owens also received a number of honors, including three commendation medals, four achievement medals and a national defense service medal.
Owens, who was born in Effingham, Ill., and later moved to Missouri, died after apparently being shot at close range, said Darlene "Dee" Humphrey, stepmother of Owens' wife, Billy.
"He was a wonderful, wonderful person," Humphrey said. "Just kind and helpful, and very, very respectful."
Owens' own mother told WGN News that she called her son immediately after the shooting, but never got a call back.
"I left a message on his phone: 'Son, call me, son, so I know if you're OK,'" she said.
When she didn't get a call back, she thought, "Oh God, please don't let it be."
Owens' daughter, Loredana Owens, took to Facebook shortly after she learned of her father's death.
"I still feel like it's all a dream... Can't feel anything," she wrote. "I love dad and I hate that you were taken away from me."
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