New details about domestic violence call that led to fatal police shooting


Photo: WREG

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TATE COUNTY, Miss. – As Ismael Lopez’s family mourns, WREG has uncovered new details about the domestic violence incident that allegedly led Southaven police officers to his home Sunday night – possibly a case of a mistaken address, officials said Monday.

Lopez was shot dead by a Southaven police officer while standing in the doorway of his home on Surrey Lane around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

But an arrest warrant shows police were at the wrong address.

DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion confirms two officers were responding to an aggravated domestic violence call at the request of another law enforcement agency.

The Tate County Sheriff’s Department, which received a call about a man attacking a woman in a Citgo gas station parking lot in Independence around 8:30 p.m.

According to a report from Tate County authorities, the woman asked Samuel Pearman if he could pay for her gas because she had left her debit card at home. At that point, authorities said Pearman told her he was “going to smash her face in” and began choking her in front of her 4-year-old daughter.

“He was shoving her and she had a baby on her hip,” said Marie Canady, who witnessed part of the attack.

Canady, who was working in the gas station at the corner of Highway 305 and Highway 306, said she called 911.

“She [the victim] was bleeding on her leg and her neck was really red and swollen,” Canady said.

Canady told WREG the woman’s attacker didn’t look anything like Lopez.

The woman was taken to a hospital.

Once Pearman fled the scene, sources told WREG the Tate County Sheriff’s Department called the Southaven Police Department so that they could track the man down at his Southaven home on Surrey Lane.

Instead, officers arrived at Lopez’s home. The address listed on an arrest warrant issued for Pearman is across the street from Lopez’s address.

“At this point, it’s very possible that the officers were at the wrong address,” said Champion.

Champion told reporters officers had to shoot the Lopez family’s dog, Coco, when he charged them.

He said officers then saw Lopez sticking a gun through a crack in the front door.

“At this point the officers began hollering, ‘Put the gun down! Put the gun down! Put the gun down!’ at which point, that did not occur,” said Champion.

One of the officers fired multiple times, ending Lopez’s life.

But his family insists Lopez wasn’t holding a gun at the time of his death, even though Champion says he was.

Jordan Castillo, a family friend of Lopez, also told WREG that Lopez’s wife – in bed at the time – never heard officers give her husband any commands before the shots rang out.

“It just looks like a shot through the door with not knowing who it was and he tried to turn around ‘cause he fell face first,” said Castillo.

Champion would not say if police ever caught up with the man they were looking for.

WREG asked Southaven police if the officer who shot Lopez was still patrolling the streets, but was told, “We don’t discuss personnel issues.”

Authorities are still seeking Pearman.

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