Vigil held to honor Fort Hood victim from WNY

ALLEGANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - A vigil was held Thursday night for Major Patrick Miller.  He is a victim of Wednesday’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood. The entire community is rallying around Miller’s mother and his family.  Friends called him an outstanding American.

Friends and family signed a huge banner, offering prayers and support for Major Miller.  He was one of 16 people hurt in the shooting at Fort Hood. Dozens showed up Thursday night at the Allegany Baptist Church.  It’s near Miller’s childhood home, in the Village of Allegany.

“He would do anything for anyone,” Dustin Bottone said.  “He would take a bullet for anyone…I mean knowing Pat, I’m sure he tried to diffuse the situation because that’s just the kind of guy he is.  He’s just got a big heart and he would do anything for anybody without thinking about himself… Very unselfish.  We’re all here even though we’re far away that we’re thinking about him and that we love him and that we’re going to do whatever it takes to help him get back to where he was.”

Major Miller’s friends said he was shot in the stomach and was operated on for a second time Thursday.  He’s now recovering in a Texas hospital.

Investigators say it was Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, who shot and killed three people at Fort Hood, Wednesday.  He walked into a building and fired his semi-automatic pistol.

“There may have been a verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers,” said Lt. General Mark Milley.

Army brass says the suspected shooter was anxious and depressed.  He was being evaluated for post traumatic stress disorder, after a four-month tour of duty in Iraq.

While overseas, Lopez drove a truck, but never fought in the war.  Lopez took his own life when a military police officer confronted him, with her weapon drawn.

“We had no indication there was any sign of likely violence to himself or others,” said Secretary of the Army John McHugh.

This is the second shooting at Fort Hood in five years.

“Seems too bad this kind of thing can happen on our military bases,” said Sid Palmer.

Palmer lives next door to Major Patrick Miller’s parents, in the Village of Allegany.  He was one of 16 hurt in the shooting.

“It seems like this happens– seems to be– more and more all the time and I don’t know what can be done about it.  But it sure is tragic,” Palmer continued.

Ryan Mccann is an Iraq war veteran.  He’s also friends with Miller.

“These people are out there putting their lives on the line fighting, protecting the US citizens and when they come home they’re supposed to have a sense of relief protection and unfortunately our service members are not receiving that,” Mccann said.

Investigators have said there does not appear to be any connection to terror in this case.  They have not ruled anything out just yet.  They say they are keeping everything open ended, until they can prove otherwise.

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