Private Deon Josephs, 31, was shot Wednesday when Spc. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood and killed three people and wounded 16 others before he killed himself.
The Las Vegas resident and former Western High School graduate was in the same unit as Lopez and the two men were friends.
Josephs had been on active duty since November and aspires to become a career officer.
He was shot in the back and was initially given a 50/50 chance of survival and remains in critical condition.
His family says that while the bullet did not hit his spine the spinal cord was affected and that it will be a very long recovery process and he will have to relearn his motor skills. Josephs brother Darren Josephs told ABC News that he’s hopes that his brother is able to walk again and that he can stay in the Army, since that’s his dream.
According to his brother, Deon Josephs has undergone surgery to remove the bullet.
The trigger for Lopez’ deadly rampage began when he could not immediately obtain a leave of absence form and was asked to come back the next day. Moments later Lopez returned with a gun.
Lopez apparently suffered from mental health issues. He wanted a transfer out of his unit because he felt that he was taunted by others. He served a four-month tour in Iraq in 2011 and had recently moved with his wife Karla and young daughter to Killeen, Texas after being transferred from another base to Fort Hood to receive a mental health evaluation.
A memorial service for the Fort Hood shooting victims is scheduled for Wednesday and both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the memorial.
A fundraising effort has been undertaken by the Josephs family. Donated funds will help Deon with any expenses and will help ensure that the Josephs family will be able to stay with Deon In Texas.