An Army specialist arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly killing his wife threatened to shoot state social workers who took his daughter into custody due to a report of child abuse, according to charging documents.
David Lopez, 24, has been charged with first-degree and second-degree murder, second-degree terroristic threatening and resisting arrest in the death of Sara Lopez.
U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll says Lopez is from Rochester, N.Y. He has been assigned to the Anchorage-based 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division since October 2010, serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan from December 2011 to October 2012.
Court documents filed Thursday (PDF) say APD responded at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday to a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson hospital and took a child abuse report involving the Lopez family, which resulted in the state Office of Children’s Services taking custody of their 2-year-old daughter. David Lopez wasn’t at the hospital, and officers couldn’t immediately locate him.
“At approximately 7:10 p.m., the Anchorage Police Department received a call from OCS representatives who indicated that (Lopez) called the OCS office,” prosecutors wrote. “During that call, (Lopez) stated that he wanted his daughter returned or he would come down to the office and shoot everyone there with an AK-47. He explained that he was an angry person with a bad temper.”
Shortly after that call, APD says Lopez called dispatchers at about 7:30 p.m. to tell them he believed he had shot his wife at the East Anchorage apartment building where they lived, saying he’d done so because she had their daughter “taken away.”
“Officers responded to (Lopez’s) residence on (the 100 block of) Oklahoma Street, where they found Sara Lopez, deceased, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head,” prosecutors wrote. “(Lopez) was taken into custody at the scene and transported to the Anchorage Police Department.”
Officers found many weapons at the Lopez home, including one described as “an AK-47 style rifle.”
“While at the Anchorage Police Department, (Lopez) attempted to take a firearm from an officer, asking the officer to shoot him,” prosecutors wrote. “(Lopez) later made an unsolicited statement that he killed his wife.”