(Reuters) - The three soldiers who died in the shooting rampage at Texas' Fort Hood this week were all men in their 30s, according to new details from friends and family that emerged on Friday, two days after the attack at the massive Army base.
Details on the three victims follows:
Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, 39, has been described as the hero of Fort Hood, for physically holding a door shut, preventing the gunman from entering a room full of military personnel.
"He held that door shut because it wouldn't lock," fiance and fellow soldier Kristen Haley told WTSP, a CBS TV affiliate in Tampa, Florida. "If he wasn't the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else."
Ferguson, who had recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, was a 1993 graduate of Tampa's Mulberry High School, where he was a five-sport letterman.
Sergeant Timothy Owens, 37, died after apparently being shot in the chest at close range, his mother-in-law, Darlene Owens, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. Owens, who was born in Effingham, Illinois, and later moved to Missouri, married Owens' stepdaughter, Billy, in a ceremony last summer. The newlyweds had attended the same high school in Rolla, Missouri.
Mary Louise Muntean, Owens' mother, said she never imagined her son would die on American soil.
"I can't believe this has happened. I just can't," she told NBC News. "I just talked to him Sunday night."
Carlos Lazaney, 38, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, was the third fatality, the mayor of Aguadilla told NBC News. Mayor Carlos Mendez Martinez said Lazaney was set to retire from the Army later this year.
"They are an excellent family, really good people," said Martinez, according to NBC News. "And what's so sad is that he was 38 years old and had joined the military since he was 18. He was going to retire at the end of the year. It is so sad."
(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)