Mercedes police say a 28-year-old resident broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house at around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning and held her at gunpoint before firing three shots at police who responded after a 9-1-1 hangup.
David Jacques Lopez is charged with four counts of unlawful restraint: expose to serious bodily injury; a count of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit another felony; and two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer.
While Lopez is accused of interrupting the woman’s emergency call, it’s that hangup that led police to the residence in the 600 block of Washington Avenue, where police were able to rescue the woman and her three children, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Mercedes dispatch reported the hangup, which happened at 2:56 a.m., to patrol resulting in Officers Victor Zavala and Jorge Cuevas responding to the residence.
Zavala activited his patrol unit’s lights upon arrival to get a better view of the residence, which had dark solar screens on the windows, according to the affidavit.
An investigator says in the charging document that Zavala walked to the side of the house to see if he could hear a disturbance while Cuevas went and knocked on the front door.
“Officer Zavala heard a female crying inside the residence and heard someone else talking. Officer Cuevas knocked on the front door again at which point Officer Zavala heard gunshots coming from inside the residence and noticed that the gunshot rounds came through the front window where they were standing in front of,” the affidavit states.
As the window broke, the officers realized a suspect in the house was shooting at them, police say.
“Officer Zavala ducked down and yelled out shots fired and ran as fast as he could towards the street to take cover behind his patrol unit behind the left back tire still having visibility to the front door of the residence. Officer Cuevas immediately ran and took cover behind a blue passenger car that was parked in the drive way. Minutes later, a third shot was fired from inside the residence front window towards said Officers direction,” an investigator says.
The officers then reported that they ran for better cover and waited for backup.
In addition to the Mercedes Police Department, Weslaco police and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office also showed up to the location.
“Minutes later, assisting Officer Antonio Montelongo informed via radio that a male subject walked out of the residence through the back door holding a gun in his hands,” the affidavit states.
The sheriff’s office SWAT team moved toward Lopez, who was “holding a gun in his right hand close to his face.”
The affidavit says the sheriff’s office apprehended him and recovered the weapon.
In a news release posted to the Mercedes Police Department Facebook page, public information officer Lt. Frank Sanchez said Mercedes police and the sheriff’s office convinved Lopez to drop the weapon.
“The incident was a complete success, as there was no loss of life,” Sanchez wrote in the release.
Once Lopez was in custody, Zavala, one of the initial responding officers who was shot at, met with the woman inside the residence and the three children and safely escorted them out to his patrol unit for their safety, according to the affidavit.
The woman, who is identified by the pseudonym Ana Heys, told police that Lopez forced his way into her house by kicking the back door, police say.
“Ms. Heys said that Mr. Lopez then walked to her bedroom and pointed a gun to her head. Officer Zavala observed that Ms. Heys had a bite mark on her right hand to which she said that Mr. Lopez had bitten her,” the affidavit states.
She told police that her ears hurt and she was having trouble hearing but that she heard three shots, police say.
“Ms. Heys stated that Mr. Lopez had her in a chokehold as he fired with the gun out the window,” the affidavit states.
Meanwhile, Mercedes police transported Lopez to the Weslaco jail where he declined to provide a statement.
While the incident was going on, one of the children texted her biological father to report that someone had broken into their house, that her mom was screaming and that she could hear gunshots, police say.
The man stayed on the line with his daughter and rushed over, telling the girl to stay in the room and not come out, according to the affidavit.
In the news release, Sanchez also made note of the child.
“One of the children had communications with a family member who was standing alongside police. The child’s communication was done through a social media platform, where the child gave updates to police while inside the residence,” Sanchez wrote.
In a statement to police, Heys said she heard a bang in the back of the residence but didn’t think much of it initially until she heard a second bang and footsteps coming toward her bedroom, police say.
“Ms. Heys stated she immediately dialed 911 and while the phone was ringing, Mr. Lopez turned the light to the room on and reached for the phone. As he did, he bit onto Ms. Hey’s right hand, and caused the 911 call to be interefered and somehow managed to hang up the call,” the affidavit states.
She told police he bit her hand for three minutes until she let go of the phone, authorities say.
“Mr. Lopez then forcefully took Ms. Heys to the kitchen area, back door while holding a gun against her head. Ms. Heys continued to state that Mr. Lopez told her to stay still and be quiet or he would kill her,” the affidavit states.
The woman said Lopez continued holding the gun to her head asking why she had did what she did, which he claimed was cheating on her, according to authorities.
That’s when she thought she heard police, but wasn’t sure and when Lopez fired the first two shots, police say.
“Ms. Heys stated that by this time, Mr. Lopez was already aware of Officers being outside of the residence. Mr. Lopez then took Ms. Heys to her bedroom, argued more about wrongdoings. Mr. Lopez then grabbed Ms. Heys in a chokehold and took her to the bathroom whilie still holding the gun to her head,” the affidavit states.
Heys told police she hadn’t dated Lopez for a year and last had contact with him in March.
“Ms. Heys further stated, Mr. Lopez has been around her residence knocking on her doors and windows but she simply ignored it,” the affidavit states.
Lopez remains jailed on $3.2 million in bonds, records show.