Police Killed Ismael Lopez With a Single Gunshot to Back of the Head


An attorney for the family of Ismael Lopez, the auto mechanic fatally shot by police in Southaven, says he was killed by a single gunshot to the back of the head.

The attorney, Murray Wells, said Friday that the lawyers got permission from family members and from the coroner’s office to view the body at the morgue. There, a lawyer for the firm discovered an obvious gunshot wound to the back of the head, Wells said.

Wells wouldn’t say which of the firm’s lawyers went to the morgue, but said it wasn’t him, and that there are only four attorneys at the law firm, Horne & Wells.

The family attorneys and a close friend of the family had previously raised concerns about bullet holes in the front door of the home and drew the conclusion that Lopez had been shot through the closed door.

Wells called the slaying an “execution” and called for the resignations of Southaven officials involved, as well as a Department of Justice inquiry.

A call to the DeSoto County coroner’s office wasn’t immediately returned.

Earlier in the day, Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite released a statement: “Contrary to what is circulating in the media, the City of Southaven considers all facts and complete information before forming judgments and taking action. We are diligently gathering facts at this time and will have no other comment until the investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been completed.”

The statewide investigative agency is looking into the case and is expected to hand off its findings to a local prosecutor, John Champion, who will decide whether to bring charges against the police officers involved.

The lawyers said they’ll likely file a suit, and their office also released a statement from Lopez’s family.

It reads in part: “Our family would like to thank the community for the support and love shown to us through this nightmare.”

“We are saddened and shocked by the tragic loss of our beloved Ismael. He was a loving husband, guiding father, mentor to the youth and hard worker. There is no reasonable explanation about why or how this happened to our Ismael but we believe his memory demands answers, accountability and justice.”

Wells and fellow attorney Aaron Neglia also said the family planned a private funeral service and that Lopez’s body would be sent back for burial in his native Mexico. He was originally from Veracruz state and had lived in the United States for many years.

Lopez was shot at his home on Surrey Lane in Southaven on Sunday night. The prosecutor has said the officers were looking for a domestic violence suspect and may very well have been at the wrong house — there were no warrants for Lopez’s arrest.

The prosecutor said Monday that it was his preliminary understanding that a dog burst out of the house, that one of the officers shot at it, and that the officers then noticed a man at the doorway holding a gun, and that shots were fired when the man refused to drop it.

The family began disputing elements of that account almost immediately after the shooting, saying that Lopez had guns in the house but didn’t have one in his hand when he was shot.

The case has drawn national attention, with reports in The Washington Post and elsewhere, and a team from Spanish-language network Univision attended the news conference, along with local reporters.

Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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