Ismael Lopez's autopsy complete, being reviewed by district attorney
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - The autopsy for the man who was shot and killed by Southaven police officers in 2017 is complete.
Ismael Lopez, a father and husband, was shot and killed in July last year after two Southaven police officers went to the wrong house. The officers said Lopez had a gun when he opened the door and refused to put it down, and that's when Lopez was shot and killed in his home.
The medical examiner who did the autopsy on Lopez, Lisa Funte, is now a medical examiner in Maine.
Funte completed the autopsy and wrote the report on Monday, and it is in now available and being reviewed by District Attorney John Champion.
Attorney Murray Wells represents the Lopez family, and he has been waiting for the autopsy to be completed.
"I'm glad. I'm thrilled that we have it the autopsy. We know it's been done and we've ended that part of the saga," Wells said.
Wells and his team do not yet have the autopsy and have not seen it. The Mississippi Crime Lab only released it to Champion who said he is not releasing the autopsy at this point.
However, Wells and his team believe they know what happened in the shooting death of Ismael Lopez. He believes his investigative team has gathered enough information to come to a conclusion without seeing the autopsy.
"We believe based on our investigators opinion that the door was shut, that Ismael Lopez turned away from the door, had left the door by some eight feet when he took a bullet to the back of his head," Wells said.
DeSoto County investigators said police claim Lopez opened the door and his pit bull Coco ran outside, and Lopez would not put his gun down when they told him too so the officers fired shots. Wells has another theory based on his investigation.
"We have a theory, not confirmed yet, that the dog was at the door, they shot through the door to shoot the dog and hit Ismael Lopez," Wells said.
Coco's head was grazed by a bullet.
Now, Champion will look over the autopsy, discuss it with DeSoto County investigators, and then decide whether to present his findings to a grand jury or clear the officers.
One of the Southaven officers quit the force and the other one is on desk duty.
Wells hopes something is done soon for the Lopez family's sake.
"At that point, I can do what I need to do which is get closure for my family," he said.
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