Soldier Charged With Murdering Wife
Suspect believed wife turned daughter in to state custody
ANCHORAGE - A Fort Richardson soldier is facing murder charges after police say he killed his wife in a dispute over their two year old daughter.
24-year-old David Lopez didn’t enter a plea at today’s arraignment, but according to charging documents, he told investigators he shot his wife because he believed she was responsible for having their daughter placed in state’s custody.
Police say the 2-year-old was taken to the base hospital on Wednesday afternoon after reports of child abuse within the Lopez family. As a result, the state Office of Children’s Services stepped in and placed the girl in protective custody. David Lopez was not at the hospital at the time but police said he called the O.C.S. office a short time later and threatened everyone there if they didn’t give his daughter back.
“O.C.S. reported that he had called and said that he was going to come down and harm people or shoot them with an AK-47,” said APD’s Lieutenant Dave Parker.
Parker said police had no time to track down Lopez after that because he called 911 from his apartment just 20 minutes later to report that he had shot his wife.
Police said Sara Lopez was alive when they arrived, despite a gunshot wound to the head, but that she died before paramedics could arrive. Officers reported they found numerous weapons in the apartment including an AK-47 type rifle.
The Army reports that Lopez is originally from Rochester, New York. He joined the Army in November of 2009 and attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, before his assignment as an infantryman with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Fort Richardson in October 2010. Lopez was deployed to Afghanistan from December 2011 to October 2012.