Southaven, Miss (localmemphis.com) – A Mississippi District Attorney told reporters Southaven Police might have been at the wrong house at the time of a deadly officer involved shooting on Sunday.
41-year-old Ismael Lopez Rodriguez was killed Sunday around 11:30 pm after a Southaven Police officer shot through a door.
“They shouldn’t be here in the first place. You know they didn’t have a warrant with his name on it,” said Jordan Castillo.
Castillo, 23, said Lopez Rodriguez was like a father to him. He was at Lopez Rodriguez’s home on Surrey Lane as close friends stopped by to offer their condolences.
“Very giving. I can’t count how many times I saw him help somebody,” said Christopher Aldi when asked to describe Lopez Rodriguez. Aldi said the 41-year-old gave him work when he had none.
Described as funny and helpful, Lopez Rodriguez was well-known in his neighborhood for car repair.
“It hurts because like I said he was an innocent man. And we all believe that 100%,” said Castillo. He said it hurt more to hear District Attorney John Champion say police may have been at the wrong address.
“The deceased subject had absolutely no warrant for his arrest. He wasn’t wanted for anything at all. I wanna make that abundantly clear at this point,” said Champion during a news conference Monday.
Champion told Local Memphis, Southaven Police were in the area to help another agency find a suspect in an aggravated domestic violence case.
He said two officers got to Lopez Rodriguez’s house and the front door was cracked open. A pit bull ran toward them, and an officer shot the dog. At the same time, they notice a gun pointed at an officer.
“At this point, the officers began hollering put the gun down, put the gun down, put the gun down! At which point that did not occur, and there were more than one shot was fired toward the door,” said Champion.
Castillo said the bullet holes at the home, and Lopez Rodriguez’s wife tells a different story.
He pointed at bullet holes in the front door and a banister, saying it looked as though the officer shot through the door not knowing who it was.
He added the dog had multiple gun shot wounds, not just one.
Castillo went on to say Lopez Rodriguez’s wife insists he was not holding a gun at the time of the shooting and she did not hear police identify themselves.
“He would never come out knowing there was police officers outside his house with guns you know? Come out with one .22 rifle. It doesn’t add up,” said Castillo.
Champion said a gun was recovered from the home but did not specify what kind of gun.
Castillo said Lopez Rodriguez owned a handgun and a rifle.
When asked about the status of the officer who shot and killed Lopez Rodriguez, Southaven Police said they do not comment on personnel matters.
Lopez Rodriguez had four children. Castillo said the family is looking into hiring a lawyer.