Sergeant Timothy Owens, 37, was one of three victims killed on April 2 in the second mass-shooting to rock Fort Hood in the past six years. The native of Effingham, Illinois, spend the years after his own deployment into combat as a counselor helping other soldiers cope with their experiences.
Here is what you need to know about Sergeant Owens, his life, and his tragic death:
1. Owens Attempted to Talk Down the Gunman
— Martin Finn (@FOXFinn) April 3, 2014
According to authorities, shooter Ivan Lopez drew his .45 caliber pistol and opened fire in two different buildings. While walking through a parking lot on the base, Owens, who worked as a counselor on the base, attempted to calm the enraged gunman. Owens’ mother, Mary Muntean, told the Washington Post about her son’s final act of heroism.
Muntean also told the AP that she had just been reunited with a daughter she gave up for adoption.
2. He Was Shot 5 Times at Close Range
The Washington Post reports that Owens was shot in the chest five times as very close range.
Hours after the shooting, the public learned that Owens was one of those who died during the incident. He is survived by three siblings, his mother, and his wife whom he married less than one year ago.
Listen above to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asking for a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
3. He Was a Counselor on Base
Sgt Timothy Owens was killed yesterday pic.twitter.com/6I7xmXdmX7
— Frankie Mayo (@Frankieth3m0m) April 4, 2014
Owens worked on base as a counselor where, his mother told the Washington Post, he “counseled hundreds of people,” trying to impart the wisdom he learned during his own years in combat.
Owen’s brother, Darrell Johnson, told the Effingham Daily News that his brother was that kind of guy who would “help anybody who needed help.” This is believed to be the impulse that drove Owens to become a counselor. Johnson went on to say, “He knew that soldiers were going through some bad stuff. Whatever happened there, I think he tried to stop it.”
4. He Served Tours in Iraq & Kuwait
According to Owens’ mother, he served in the Army for almost 10 years serving in both Iraq and Kuwait. He had also recently re-enlisted for an additional six years in the Army, and was planning on making a career in the Army.
Before the military, Owens grew up in Illinois, and later Missouri. In high school he was a wrestler and a wide receiver.
5. Two Other Victims & the Shooter Were Also Killed
Investigators say shooter 34-year-old Ivan Lopez shot and killed three soldiers, including Owens, before turning the gun on himself and ending the rampage. In addition to the dead, sixteen people were injured.