1. Military

Body of Polk man killed in Fort Hood shooting returns Friday

TAMPA — The remains of a 21-year Army veteran from Polk County who survived deployments to war zones only to die in last week's Fort Hood shooting will arrive Friday in Tampa.

The Florida Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group, announced it will escort the remains of Army Sgt. 1st Class Danny Ferguson, 39, of Mulberry from Tampa International Airport to the Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens.

Ferguson, a 1993 graduate of Mulberry High School who worked as an Army transportation supervisor, was one of three soldiers killed April 2 at the Texas base. Military officials say they were shot by Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, whose rampage wounded 16 more of his fellow soldiers and ended when he killed himself.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez, who also was shot and killed, has family in the Tampa Bay area.

Ferguson's remains will arrive early Friday evening. A private service will be held on the airport tarmac at 6:50 p.m. before the escort departs for Lakeland.

A private funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Resurrection Catholic Church in Lakeland. Ferguson will be buried at the Florida National Ceremony in Bushnell about 1:30 p.m.