New evidence casting doubt on police version of deadly shooting

New forensic evidence is raising questions about a deadly shooting involving San Diego police.

On the day he died, 27-year-old Angel Lopez was a wanted man. Tests show he was high on meth and other drugs, but attorney Gene Iredale, who was hired by his widow, says Lopez did not deserve to die.

"It's important to find out what the truth really is," said Iredale.

Here is the police version of the facts: Lopez and a friend were both wanted on parole violations. Lopez had a history of arrests related to guns and drugs. Officers say they were told at least one was believed to be armed and dangerous.

As the two were getting into a car outside an apartment complex in the College Area, police moved in and they ran. The friend was caught. Lopez was cornered by officers on the third floor when he suddenly turned toward officers and grabbed for his waistband. Lopez was then shot and killed by a 12-year veteran.

10News reporter Michael Chen asked, "He was on drugs. He has an extensive record. Isn't it conceivable he made a motion that would justify these actions?"

Iredale responded, "No -- given the physical evidence."

He showed 10News the just-released autopsy and the location of the three bullets.

"One was in the back of the head, one was in the middle of the back and another was in the upper portion of the back," Iredale said.

He said the exit wounds show an upward trajectory, suggesting officers shot from the stairwell and not the hallway as they said.

"It suggests what they are saying is not the truth. It's a lie. Whenever police shoot an unarmed man, it's always noted that the suspect reached into a pocket or waistband," said Iredale.

He has filed a claim against police and the city -- a precursor to a lawsuit, which is expected in a few weeks.

Lopez left behind a wife and twin babies. 

"Angel was no angel, but nobody … nobody deserves to be shot in the back," said Iredale.

Police say an internal probe was conducted but declined to reveal the results.

The city attorney's office declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

 

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