Mississippi police fatally shot a man while attempting to serve an arrest warrant at the wrong address, according to the victim’s family lawyer.
The officers reportedly intended to arrest Samuel Pearman on a domestic abuse charge on Sunday night, but accidentally went to the home of Ismael Lopez, 41, instead. After a pit bull ran out of the home, one officer fired shots at the dog. Another officer opened fire on Lopez, who was allegedly pointing a gun from behind the cracked front door, killing him.
“The officers began hollering ‘Put the gun down! Put the gun down! Put the gun down! Put the gun down!’ at which point that did not occur,” District Attorney John Champion told the Commercial Appeal. “More than one shot was fired toward the door. There was a subject, a male subject, inside the residence that was killed as a result of this gunfire.”
Champion added that Lopez did not have a warrant out for his arrest and was not wanted for any crimes at the time of the incident. Lopez’s family lawyer has denied that he was holding a weapon at the time, and his wife, who was home with him, has claimed that she never heard any verbal commands from police before they opened fire.
No one else was harmed, and it’s unclear if Lopez ever shot at the officers or even realized that they were indeed police officers.
“They’ve been in that home for 13 years. The only time the police had ever been there was when they had been robbed,” lawyer Murray Wells said. “No criminal history whatsoever. A long-standing employee of the city of Bartlett, mechanic. Loved in the neighborhood.”
One officer connected to the incident has been placed on administrative duty, and the Lopez family intends to sue the police department.