The tragedy of the Fort Hood shootings hit home for a Bay area high school this morning as the assistant principal of Mulberry High School asked for a moment of silence to honor a former student gunned down Wednesday at the sprawling Texas military base.
“Many of you are aware of the senseless tragedy of the Fort Hood shooting in Texas this week,” assistant principal Lori Leverett said she told students this morning. “It was confirmed late last night that one of the victims was Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson. Daniel Ferguson was a 1993 graduate of Mulberry High School. Many of our teachers may have taught him and several of our teachers went to school with him.”
Leverett said that she told students Ferguson “is being called the hero of Fort Hood. It was he who stood to block the gunman from entering a crowded room where he would have killed many more people.”
Leverett said she was using information gleaned from an interview WTSP-TV did Thursday with Kristen Haley, a soldier, who told the station she was Ferguson’s fianceé.
Efforts to reach Ferguson’s family and Haley were not immediately successful.
Fort Hood officials Friday morning had not yet released the names of the three victims nor have they confirmed the story of how Ferguson died.
Three people were killed by Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who later turned the gun on himself, according to Fort Hood officials.
Ferguson was “a very quiet, very respectful student,” Leverett recalled, adding that she knew him from her days as the school art teacher and senior class sponsor. “He was a bright young man, very athletic, involved in many sports and student activities.”
Leverett said Ferguson was a member of the Letterman’s Club, the Future Business Leaders of America and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“He was just a well-rounded individual,” she said. “A wholesome, nice person.”
After telling students about Ferguson, Leverett said she then asked students to remain standing “for a moment of silence for Danny and the other victims.”
She said she asked teachers later how the students — who were born after Ferguson graduated — reacted.
“They were quiet and respectful,” said Leverett, adding that efforts to reach Ferguson family members still in Mulberry have been unsuccessful.
“Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley confirmed the death of Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, identified as the person responsible for the shooting incident April 2 here,” according to the Fort Hood website.
Stay with TBO.com for updates.