SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - UPDATE: 6:40 P.M.
Chief of Police for the Southaven Police Department, Steven E. Pirtle, issued the following statement regarding this case:
Today's announcement by DeSoto County District Attorney's Office concluded the criminal investigation of Mr. Lopez's death. This investigation has been conducted and reviewed by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, The DeSoto District Attorney, and the FBI. This case has been reviewed in addition by the U.S. Department of Justice which cleared the officers of any criminal actions along with a DeSoto County Grand Jury made up of citizens of DeSoto Count has reviewed this case and after reviewing the evidence decided no to indict the officers on criminal charges.
The officer who fired at Mr. Lopez left the department to enter the private workforce, and the officer who fired at the dog is still currently on non-enforcement status, but is anticipated to return to full duty within the coming days.
There have been inaccurate statements, inflammatory statements made about this incident that I would like to address, however, due to pending litigation, I am still not at liberty to discuss further at this juncture.
This was a very tragic event. My condolences are still with his family and my prayers are with all involved.
No charges will be filed against the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ismael Lopez, according to Murray Wells, the attorney representing Lopez’s family.
Lopez died on July 23, 2017. Southaven Police shot him as they were serving a warrant at the wrong home. A search warrant FOX13 obtained from Tate County, Miss. showed the address on the warrant was across the street from Lopez’ home – and for a different person.
It was also signed the day after Lopez was killed.
"The deceased subject had no warrant out for his arrest,” District Attorney John Champion said in July 2017. “He was not wanted for anything at all.”
Police said Lopez was shot and killed after threatening officers with a gun. His family and attorneys deny that was the case. They said he was killed by a “single bullet to the back of his head.”
FOX13 obtained a copy of Ismael Lopez’s death certificate. It listed the cause of death as a gunshot to the head with a 9mm pistol. It was listed as a homicide.
Wells told FOX13 DA Champion recently presented to the grand jury.
The grand jury did not want to press charges on Second-Degree Murder or Voluntary manslaughter, according to Wells, and a decision of “no true bill” was returned.
The family will hold a news conference on Thursday.
“This is just the start,” Wells told FOX13.
The attorney added Lopez’s family is “disappointed” by the grand jury’s decision. He said his law office will now get all the evidence form the investigation and begin an investigation of their own.
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