South Florida veterans react to Fort Hood shooting

Many vets try to put themselves in victims' shoes

South Florida veterans are offering thoughts and prayers for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting. Some of those veterans are also wondering about the mental anguish of the gunman - who was a fellow military man.

Tucked away on a quiet Boynton Beach street is a little place called Vetsville . This week, there have been some very deep conversations unfolding inside.

"You don't know what was going on in his head. You have no idea what he was thinking," said George Santanelli, a U.S. Air Force veteran who is among those living in Vetsville , a temporary home providing food, clothing and shelter for homeless veterans and their families while the veteran is assisted in re-entering the job market leading to a productive life.

Many of the veterans have been watching the developing news as a group, contemplating the shooting at Fort Hood together. "I feel bad for the families of the people that he killed," said Santanelli. "And then he turns around and kills himself. I think that's a coward's way out anyway," he said.

There is much anger at the gunman now identified as Ivan Lopez, who was a soldier. But some veterans also feel for their military brother. "Where does he get assigned to?," asked Donald Marlowe, a U.S. Army veteran. "A medical unit - and he's got hundreds of qualified personnel to talk to," he said of Lopez.

A top army official said Lopez had seen a psychiatrist last month and did not show any signs of being a threat to himself or others.


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