SOUTHAVEN ,Miss. — When Southaven police showed up at the house on Surrey Drive, they were following up on a domestic violence call. But what went down when they got there ended with 41-year old Ismael Lopez dead.
Lopez and his wife were the only ones home. She doesn’t speak English, but she said through an interpreter that her husband went to the door after hearing the dog barking and looking outside the window seeing police cars.
“They started pounding on the door and as far as she knows when he opened the door, they started shooting. She didn’t see it, but she is just repeating as much as she knows,” says Rami Desantiago, a family friend.
Investigators tell a different story, saying the suspect had a gun and they told him to drop if before opening fire. A gun was recovered at the house.
Bullet holes left in the house and even bullets hitting Lopez’s dog indicate several shots were fired.
“My sister told me it was the police that killed him. I can’t believe it. He was a really good person,” says family friend Juan Castillo.
Southaven Police are referring all questions to the district attorney. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.
Lopez’s family says police told them they were at the house following up on a call from Tate County, where a woman told officers she had been beaten and the person responsible was at the address on Surrey.
“She ran out. She saw him laying on the floor. She ran out and she saw him laying on the floor with his hands empty. She didn’t see any kind of a gun or anything,” says Desantiago. “She just wants to know why. She wants to seek justice. She doesn’t understand why they come and killed him. ”
District Attorney John Champion admitted Southaven Police could have been at the wrong house. WREG is following up on that.
As for the woman who made the initial call about domestic violence, Tate County authorities tell us the woman says she was choked by her boyfriend at a gas station, and he lived in Southaven.