Officers kill man with no active warrants at wrong house
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Documents show that Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest.
A warrant out of Tate County shows Samuel Pearman was wanted for domestic assault. But, when Southaven officers arrived on Surrey Lane to arrest Pearman, they did not show up to the correct house.
Instead, officers missed their target by 36 feet. Those 36 feet made all the difference to Ismael Lopez and his wife.
"Someone didn't take the time to analyze the address," attorney Murray Wells, who represents the family, said. "This is incredibly tragic and embarrassing to this police department that they can't read house numbers."
Wells pointed out that the house officers should have gone to, the one where Pearman was located, had a large 'P' on the door. While officials sort out what happened, the man they were looking for took to social media.
Pearson even posted on Facebook Live on Tuesday afternoon claiming he didn't do anything wrong.
"They made me out to be something I'm not," he said. "I haven't hurt her. She's the one who slapped me."
Ismael Lopez and his wife, Claudia Linares, were asleep inside their house across the street from Pearson when officers arrived.
Linares said her husband went to the door to see what was happening outside. That's when she heard gunshots and by the time she reached her husband, he was already dead.
"Bullet holes suggest they shot through the door," Wells said.
Officers said Lopez came to the door pointing a gun at them. Those officers claim to have asked Lopez multiple times to drop the gun before they started shooting.
But, neighbors said they didn't hear anything like that.
"I didn't hear yelling," neighbor Nicholas Tramel said.
Tramel's room is right next to the Lopez home. He said he never heard police tell Lopez to put his rifle down.
Wells implied that officers had reasons not to tell the truth in their account of what happened. Namely, because they could face consequences for shooting Lopez. He also said that Claudia, who was the only one on the property who could not be held responsible for shooting Lopez, did not hear any commands or instructions being given. In addition, Wells said Lopez never pointed a gun at the officers.
"There was a gun on the premises, but the man did not have the gun with him when police shot him," he said.
Wells said Claudia Lopez wants justice and for the world to know that her husband was a good man.
"When they came to my office, it wasn't money they sought. They wanted the story to come out," he said. "What they want everyone to know is who he was and what happened."
Wells described Lopez as a hardworking employee who, up until about four years ago, worked for City of Bartlett as a mechanic.
"They've been in that home for 13 years. The only time the police had ever been there was when they had been robbed," Wells said. "No criminal history whatsoever. A long-standing employee of the city of Bartlett, mechanic. Loved in the neighborhood."
He continued, "This could have happened to anyone. Her [Claudia's] sense of justice doesn't really come from a place of anger, but of confusion."
Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.