It's been 7 years since Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney called Hampton Roads home. Most recently he worked at Ft. Eustis. Before that, coworkers tell NewsChannel 3 he worked at Ft. Monroe as the supply sergeant in the administration office.
"Carlos was one of those guys that never met a stranger," says Nancy Henderson, who worked with Lazaney at Ft. Monroe from 2000 to 2002.
"He was kind of like that pesky little brother," she says.
In that short time they worked together, she says Lazaney made an impact.
"It’s those people that stand out in your life and he stood out as somebody that was important," she says.
A single mom, Henderson says he went out of his way to mentor her son, Drew.
"He was really instrumental at a time of my life when those positive role models really meant something," Drew Henderson says.
Henderson says she kept in touch with Lazaney for years, even during his deployment to Iraq.
Coming up on 20 years in the Army, Lazaney was just months away from retirement.
"He was looking forward to going home to Puerto Rico more often," Henderson says.
Last week, 38-year-old Lazaney was one of three shot and killed by another Ft. Hood soldier, Spc. Ivan Lopez, also from Puerto Rico. It's still unclear if the two knew each other.
"He's been to Iraq and comes back safe and he goes to Texas and this happens,” Henderson says. “It was devastating. It broke my heart instantly. I just kept thinking it cannot be true. It just can`t be true."
During his time in the Army, Staff Sgt. Lazaney received numerous awards including a Combat Action Ribbon.
"I’d probably like to say thanks,” Henderson says. “Yeah, it meant a lot to me that he was not only my friend but it meant a lot to me that he was good to my kid.”