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Fort Hood shooting victim recalled as brave and dedicated

Outside Fort Hood on Thursday. (Ashley Landis/EPA)

A counselor killed at Fort Hood on Wednesday was recalled as a  brave man who was always looking to help people.

Timothy Wayne Owens’s mother, Mary Muntean, said she received a call at 7:30 Wednesday night at her home in Effingham, Ill. The call was from Owens’s wife, Billy, informing Muntean that her son had died from five gunshot wounds from a weapon fired at close range in a parking lot at the fort.

“He was a brave man,” Muntean said in a telephone interview from her home, crowded with grieving friends and relatives.

Muntean said she was told by Owens’s wife, who he married last summer, that Owens was shot as he tried to calm the gunman. There was no indication that Owens was familiar with the shooter, Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez.

Glen Welton, Owens’s first cousin, said Owens served at least one tour in Iraq and possibly one in Afghanistan.

“He’s a very dedicated individual for any endeavor he started, which is why he liked the military so much because it’s where dedication counted,” Welton said.

Welton said Owens had one daughter with his first wife, Shelley, and step-children with his second wife, Billy.

Owens “counseled hundreds of people,” his mother said.

When Mike Myers and his wife were going through a rough patch, Owens sat them down and talked them through their issues. Myers credits Owens for saving his marriage.

“He was a good guy, if you needed help doing anything,” he said. “He’d jump on doing the dishes. He was always asking my parents do you need anything done. He was always the person you could go talk to.”

If Owens did try to calm the shooter down, Myers said that’s completely in character. “We’d go for a beer and a fight would break, and [Owens] would talk to him, say, ‘Hey man, you don’t need to do this’,” Myers said.

Owens and three siblings were raised in Missouri and later in Effingham. His mother said her son was a wide receiver and wrestled for his high school teams.

A close friend, Jennifer Rodriguez, described him “as very outgoing, a ladies man.”

“He will be deeply missed,” she said.

This post has been updated.




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