Partner of man shot by SJSU police speaks out

The details are emerging about the man killed in an officer-involved shooting last Friday, near San Jose State.
February 28, 2014 9:58:44 PM PST
New details are emerging about the man killed in an officer-involved shooting last Friday, just off San Jose State's campus. His partner spoke to ABC7 News and says she wants to know why officers used lethal force against him. The investigating agencies aren't talking because the investigation is not over, but the waiting has been extremely painful for Lopez's family.

Laurie Valdez grieves not only because her partner is gone. She grieves also for Josiah, the son they had together. Valdez says the 4-year-old asks when his father will come home.

"Nothing in the world's ever going to bring back his father or the pain that he's going to go through and have to live with the rest of his life, you know... that's what hurts," said Valdez.

She says Antonio Guzman Lopez was a caring father, not only with their son, but with her daughter from a previous relationship.

Lopez was shot and killed Friday by a San Jose State police sergeant. Investigators say he opened fire when Lopez, who was carrying a drywall cutting saw, charged at another officer. Police got a 911 call earlier in the day, saying there was a man with a knife on campus. They found Lopez a couple of blocks away at South Eighth and San Salvador streets. The coroner determined that the 38-year-old man died from two gunshot wounds to the back.

"How was that they were afraid for their lives? He was walking away. I don't understand... shooting him in the back? Come on," said Valdez.

She says Lopez spoke only a little English and if a police command were given, he probably wouldn't understand. What's more is Lopez was an undocumented immigrant.

"He would never challenge the law because he wouldn't want to risk himself getting deported and never ever seeing his son again," said Valdez.

Valdez says Lopez, who did gardening and odd jobs, collected recyclables. She thinks he picked up the cutting saw on his walk.

"He saw something on the floor, picked it up. Didn't think twice about walking through the campus with it," said Valdez.

Valdez says Lopez's body will be sent back to his family in Mexico for a funeral there.


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