Family of Ismael Lopez thanks community for their support

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Neighbors in Southaven came together Friday night in support of the man who was shot and killed by police officers who showed up to the wrong house.

More than 100 people held signs asking for justice for Ismael Lopez.

Lopez was killed July 24, but his neighbors said they won't stop rallying until they have answers about what happened to him.

"We are very disappointed of the situation that just happened with Mr. Ismael and we are here to support the family and we just want justice," said attendee Rocio Cervera.

The vigil was purposely held across from the Southaven Police Department.

Lopez's wife Claudia spoke at the vigil through a translator.

"I want to ask for your support and for justice," Claudia said.

She thanked the people who helped her send her husband's body to Mexico for burial. Claudia said the house she shared with Lopez is a terrible daily reminder of what happened.

"Every time I go by my living room that memory will never go away," Claudia said.

The Lopez family attorney Murray Wells said Southaven police need to be more open.

"We think that the identity of the officers needs to come out and we think that needs to come from the Southaven Police Department," Wells said.

Wells said he expects the names to be released soon.

At the end of the vigil, people held candles and prayed for the Lopez family.

Southaven police officers were supposed to be at a house across the street to arrest Samuel Pearman on domestic violence charges.

A husband and father, Lopez lived across the street and appeared to have been shot through his door.

The officers said Lopez's dog, Cocoa, burst out of the house. They claim to have shot the dog, which suffered a scrape to the top of his head. The officers also said Lopez was standing in the doorway holding a gun. They fired shots when he refused to drop it.

Lopez's wife disputes that account and said he did not have a gun in his hand. The family's attorneys, who viewed his body at the morgue, said Lopez was shot in the back of the head. There were also bullet holes in the front door.

Hispanic community leaders said they will make sure Lopez, a man beloved in his Southaven neighborhood, is never forgotten.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.

D.A. John Champion said the MBI may have the investigation complete in about three weeks. At that time, more information should be available about what happened and whether the two officers involved will face charges.

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