New details are being released about the investigation into the death of a Southaven, MS, man shot and killed by police reportedly going to the wrong house.
Attorneys representing Ismael Lopez said a new Mississippi Bureau of Investigation report shows contradictions between the facts and officer statements on scene.
The Desoto County district attorney said the investigation is closed and remains closed after a grand jury declined to indict the officers last year. But attorneys representing the Lopez family believe the facts laid out in the MBI report strengthen their civil case that will be filed later this month.
“When you look at the facts versus the statements, I think it’s damning,” Attorney Murray Wells said.
That’s the takeaway from attorney Murray Wells, after he reviewed the newly released MBI report on the shooting death of Lopez in a Southaven neighborhood in the summer of 2017.
“There was confusion amongst three different officers at the time they decided to go the Lopez home. Two of the officers didn’t think it was the right house, yet they went anyways,” Well said.
The MBI report includes statements from the officer who shot and killed Lopez and the officer who shot Lopez’s dog. Both claim Lopez pointed a gun at the officers, a claim Wells strongly rejected.
“They couldn’t find any forensic evidence linking Ismael Lopez to the firearm, meaning no fingerprint, no blood spatter, no DNA,” Wells said.
The MBI report said it’s unclear whether the front door was opened or closed when the officer fired the deadly shot into the home. Wells contends a diagram in the MBI report showing the distance of Lopez from the door pointed to one clear conclusion.
“This is an incredible, unbelievable tragedy where a man got shot through a closed door, 12 feet away from the door in the back of the head, and died,” Wells said.
Desoto County District Attorney John Champion declined to comment on the MBI file. Last year, Champion said the Southaven officer who shot and killed Lopez no longer works for the department.