April 16, 2008 – Killeen, TX – Killeen police are investigating what they said appears to be a murder-suicide involving two Fort Hood soldiers who returned late last year from Iraq.
Fort Hood officials Tuesday identified the married couple as Staff Sgt. Gilberto Mota, 35, of California and Spc. Diana Mota, 30, of Killeen. Police said they were found dead Saturday at a house in the 3100 block of Southhill Drive.
Investigators said they think Gilberto Mota shot Diana Mota before turning the gun on himself. The couple had been separated, officials said.
According to a written statement from police in Killeen, Diana Mota went to the house Saturday to talk to Gilberto Mota. The couple’s daughter and her uncle, Gilberto Mota’s brother, went to the house about 11 p.m. after Diana Mota failed to return.
When they arrived, they found the couple dead in a bedroom, police said. Bell County Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin has ordered autopsies for the couple at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.
Fort Hood officials said Gilberto Mota was an artillery mechanic and served in Iraq from October 2006 to November. He received several awards and commendations, including the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
Diana Mota served in Iraq from October 2006 to December and worked as an automated logistical specialist. She received the Army Commendation Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, officials said.
Nearby neighbors said the couple typically kept to themselves. Cynthia Colon said she was shocked at the deaths.
“I can never have imagined that something like this would have happened on my street,” said Colon, who has lived in the neighborhood for about five years. “It’s a pretty good neighborhood around here.”
Fort Hood officials said they did not immediately know of other such incidents involving area veterans. But last April, Killeen police investigated an apparent murder-suicide in which they found an 18-year-old woman and her 22-year-old husband dead from gunshot wounds. The woman was a Fort Hood soldier; her husband was a member of the National Guard.
In 2004, officials found Sgt. Erin Edward’s body on the front porch of her house after she had been shot. The body of her estranged husband, Sgt. William Edwards, was found in a parking lot across the street; officials called it a murder-suicide. Both had served in Iraq.
Two Fort Hood Soldiers Found Dead
By Nancy A. Bourget, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs Office
Blackanthem Military News
Fort Hood, TX — Fort Hood officials have released the name of two Soldiers after next-of-kin had been notified, who were found dead on Saturday, April 12, in a residence in Killeen.
On the evening of April 12, officers from the Killeen Police Department responded to a call advising that a husband and wife were found deceased in a residence in Killeen.
The Soldiers involved were Staff Sgt. Gilberto Mota and Spc. Diana Mota.
Staff Sgt. Mota, 35, of California, was assigned to 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since January 2006 as an Artillery Mechanic.
Spc. Mota, Horton, 30, of Killeen, was assigned to Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division since November 2007 as an Automated Logistical Specialist.
Staff Sergeant Mota’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver-Mechanic Badge, and Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
Specialist Mota’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
Staff Sgt. Mota deployed to Iraq Oct. 06 – Nov. 07. Spc. Diana Mota deployed Oct. 06 – Dec. 07.
There is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Killeen Police Department.