Fort Hood soldier kills himself after triple murder

Fort Hood officials identified Spc. Ata-Se Giffa as the soldier who died of an apparent gunshot wound Feb. 23 at his off-post residence in Killeen, Texas. Giffa was assigned to 1st Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Hood, since January 2014.


By SIG CHRISTENSON | San Antonio Express-News (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 25, 2015

A Fort Hood soldier killed himself after gunning down his wife and two others Sunday night, marking yet another murder-suicide involving troops from the post.

The killings at two residences off of Fort Hood were described as a "domestic incident" Tuesday by Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith. She said the husband shot three people at 1706 Godman, killing two and wounding a third, before taking his wife back to their home.

Smith didn't know if the neighbors were protecting the wife.

"It may be, but they're still investigating everything and trying to figure out why it happened," she said of police looking into the case.

A report said police were sent to a disturbance call at 10:26 p.m. Sunday and learned that an armed man had fired shots. Officers found two people dead and a third wounded.

Moments later, more shots were heard at a nearby home and a tactical response team was called to the scene.

Officers found the soldier, Spc. Ata-Se Giffa, 30, and his wife shot to death after entering their home at 12:26 p.m. Monday. Police listed the dead as Lydia Farina, 31, Larry Guzman, 40 and Dawn Giffa, 28.

A lone, unidentified survivor remained in serious condition Tuesday at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

Giffa, a veteran of Afghanistan, is thought to have killed himself after shooting his wife at their home at 1710 Godman.

The incident follows a shooting spree last year on Fort Hood that left four dead, including the gunman, who killed himself, and more than a dozen others wounded. A recently released Army investigation said no clear warning signs were available before Spc. Ivan Lopez, an Iraq war veteran, began shooting people April 2 with a Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handgun.

Just 13 months ago, a soldier returning from Afghanistan found her two daughters and husband, a civilian, dead in their on-post home. Authorities said the husband, Rouhad Ahamd Ezzeddine, 43, killed the girls, Leila Rouhad Ezzeddine, 9, and Zeinab Rouhad Ezzeddine, 4, before taking his own life.

Nearly as many U.S. troops have killed themselves in the last 11 years as have died in Iraq. Fort Hood, which repeatedly sent troops from two divisions to Iraq during the war, has long led all posts in the number of suicides. At least 15 were recorded there last year.


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