Fort Hood: The Army’s most dangerous post?


So far this year, nearly 30 service members connected to Fort Hood have died, including by homicide, suicide, accident and illness. Some of the deaths are still undetermined. Army leadership has admitted that Fort Hood has the worst rate of violent crime and incidents among its U.S. installations.

Here is a list that takes a closer look at the casualties surrounding For Hood this year.

Feb. 1: Pvt. Eric Christopher Hogan and Pvt. Anthony Nevelle Peak

Hogan and Peak both died in a head-on car crash in Williamson County on Feb. 1. Texas Department of Public Safety officials said Peak was driving a personal car, Hogan was the passenger. According to DPS, their car crossed a median on State Highway 195 and crashed into oncoming traffic.

Pvt. Eric Christopher Hogan (KPRC 2 Investigates)
Pvt. Anthony Nevelle Peak (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 1: Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones

Jones, 20, was found shot to death at 3:05 a.m. March 1 in the parking lot of a convenience store on South Fort Hood Street in Killeen. Homicide detectives eventually tracked his shooting to a nearby strip club.

Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 5: Spc. Christopher Wayne Sawyer

Sawyer, 29, was found unresponsive on March 5 in his residence on Fort Hood, according to a statement released by the post. CID ruled his death a suicide.

Spc. Christopher Wayne Sawyer (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 5: Sgt. Raul Rudy Torrez III

According to the obituary, 24-year-old Torrez died March 5, while stationed at Fort Hood. Additional details about his death have not been released.

Sgt. Raul Rudy Torrez III (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 11: Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias

Covarrubias was killed March 11 when his unit was engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 14: Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr. and Shaquan Allred

Fort Hood soldier Delacruz, 23, and Army veteran, 23-year-old Allred, were among three people found shot and killed at a Killeen apartment complex. The case is being treated as a triple homicide. In September, a Mississippi man was charged with capital murder.

Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr. (KPRC 2 Investigates)
Shaquan Allred (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 20: Brandon Brown

Army veteran Brandon Brown 34, of Harker Heights, was found unresponsive. Police ruled his death a suicide. Brown was honorably discharged in 2013. His last place of duty was at Fort Hood.

Brandon Brown (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 22: Michael Steven Wardrobe

Wardrobe, 22, was shot and killed at a residence in Killeen.

Spc. Jovino Jamel Roy, 22, was charged with murder after homicide investigators say he shot and killed Wardrobe. Roy served with Fort Hood’s 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and Wardrobe left the Army at the end of January as a specialist.

Michael Steven Wardrobe (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 25: Victor D’Onofrio

D’Onofrio, 22, of Sarasota, Florida died at Fort Hood March 25. His cause of death is unknown.

Victor D’Onofrio (KPRC 2 Investigates)

March 30: Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty

Hilty, 44, died March 30, in Erbil, Iraq, of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty (KPRC 2 Investigates)

April 22: Spc. Vanessa Guillen

According to federal officials, Guillen was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood in April by a fellow soldier. It took investigators three months to find her body. Her body was found in a shallow grave off the post on June 30. July 1, the soldier suspected of killing Guillen, committed suicide after fleeing Fort Hood. In April, Spc. Vanessa Guillen was killed by a fellow soldier in an arms room on base. Guillen’s family said she experienced sexual harassment at the base, but she was too fearful of retaliation to report it.

Spc. Vanessa Guillen (KPRC 2 Investigates)

May 18: Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans

Rosecrans, 27, was found dead on May 18 on the southern edge of Harker Heights. Police say Rosecrans was driving an SUV near Stillhouse Hollow Lake on May 18 when he was apparently shot by his passenger. Rosecrans' body was dumped and the SUV was found burning in another area. Two people have been charged in connection with his death.

Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans (KPRC 2 Investigates)

June 2020: Pvt. Gregory Morales

Law enforcement found Morales' remains in a Killeen field in June 2020, while out searching for Guillen. Morales was reported missing in August 2019. Originally, the military listed him as a deserter.

Pvt. Gregory Morales (KPRC 2 Investigates)

July 1: Aaron David Robinson

Officials identified Robinson as the main suspect in Guillen’s disappearance. He killed himself as investigators confronted him after he fled Fort Hood.

Aaron David Robinson (KPRC 2 Investigates)

July 17: Pvt. Mejhor Morta

Morta, 26, was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, near Fort Hood. The final autopsy determined the soldier drowned and it was an accident. His body was found at the base of the dam.

Pvt. Mejhor Morta (KPRC 2 Investigates)

Aug. 2: Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas

Hernandezvargas died after a boating accident on Stillhouse Hollow Lake on Aug. 2. His drowning was ruled accidental. Hernandezvargas was the second soldier who died on the lake in less than a month.

Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas (KPRC 2 Investigates)

Aug. 12: Spc. Cole Jakob Aton

Spc. Cole Jakob Aton, 22, died Aug. 12 from injuries suffered while directing traffic at an accident scene on U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14 in Killeen. Foul play is not suspected.

Spc. Cole Jakob Aton (KPRC 2 Investigates)

Aug. 13: Sgt. Bradley Moore

Texas Army National Guard soldier, Moore, died during a training exercise at Fort Hood.

Sgt. Bradley Moore (KPRC 2 Investigates)

Aug. 19: Sgt. Elder Fernandes

Fernandes went missing on Aug. 19. His body was discovered on Aug. 25 near railroad tracks in Temple, about 30 miles from Fort Hood. His death was ruled a suicide. Family members said he had been happy in the Army up until a few months ago, then he reported being sexually assaulted by a superior.

Sgt. Elder Fernandes (KPRC 2 Investigates)

Sept. 2: Pvt. Corlton L. Chee

Chee collapsed after physical training at Fort Hood on Aug. 28 and died on Sept. 2 in a local hospital. According to a press release, foul play is not suspected. An autopsy was ordered. The Army CID is investigating.

Pvt. Corlton L. Chee (KPRC 2 Investigates)

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast journalist covering local, regional, national and international stories. Recognized in the industry for subject matter expertise including: Legal/Court Research, the Space Industry, Education, Environmental Issues, Underserved Populations and Data Visualization.

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”