Custom Search

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

[AZ] The unsolved death of Deputy Lopez's girlfriend, Karen Flores


...The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office has determined that [Karen] Flores died of a single gunshot wound to the torso but has not ruled the death a suicide, said Dr. Bruce Parks, the county's chief medical examiner...

Deputy's live-in girlfriend dies after being shot in chest
Tucson Citizen
By SHERYL KORNMAN
Published: 12.25.2006
The live-in girlfriend of a Pima County sheriff's deputy apparently shot herself in the chest early this morning. The incident was initially called in to authorities as a suicide. Pima County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Ogden said the 21-year-old woman and Deputy Luis Lopez were celebrating the holiday with family and friends at a home in the 2900 block of West Holiday. They had been arguing throughout the festivities... Detectives are investigating the death as "suspicious" until further details are learned... The woman won't be publicly identified until her family is notified of her death.

Christmas death of deputy's wife called 'suspicious'
KVOA
Lupita Murillo Reports mailto:lmurillo@kvoa.com
Dec 26, 2006
...Sheriff's investigators say the call came in as a "suicide" and when officers arrived they found out it was the house of one of their deputies. Sgt. Jim Ogden says, "Evidenlty she may have shot herself in the chest with his duty weapon"... The death is being ruled as "suspicious". Sgt. Ogden says, " It's treated as suspicious until we find out what happened during the course of the events." Investgiators seized five vehicles at the home including deputy Luis Lopez' patrol car. Lopez has been with the department just about a year... When his live-in girlfriend reportedly committed suicide, there were other people inside the house including a child. Neighbors say the couple had recently moved into the neighborhood and were making friends. Just a few days ago the woman who died here took some cookies over to a neighbor...

examiner.com / The Associated Press
Jan 24, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - Pima County has fired a sheriff's deputy whose gun was reportedly used by his girlfriend to commit suicide on Christmas Day. Deputy Luis Lopez was nearly one year into his 18-month probationary period when he was fired effective Dec. 26, Deputy Dawn Barkman said. "Failure to meet the end of his probationary requirements" is the official reason, Barkman said Tuesday. A criminal investigation into shooting is being conducted by the Tucson Police Department. The couple had been arguing throughout Christmas Eve and Karen Flores, 21, shot herself in the chest at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, said Sheriff's Sgt. James Ogden... "We're still waiting on the autopsy results," he said.

Deputy whose girlfriend died of gunshot loses his job
By Alexis Huicochea
arizona daily star
01.24.2007
A Pima County sheriff's deputy was fired after his girlfriend reportedly used his duty firearm to fatally shoot herself, an official said Tuesday. Deputy Luis Lopez was terminated Dec. 26 — one day after the apparent suicide — for failing to successfully complete his probationary period, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a sheriff's spokeswoman. Because Lopez, who was hired in January 2006, was on probation, he does not have any appeal rights, his attorney, Mike Storie, said. "During that probationary period, a person can be fired for any reason whatsoever," he said. The investigation into his girlfriend's death is ongoing, said Officer Dallas Wilson, a Tucson police spokesman. According to court documents, deputies responded to Lopez's home near South Cardinal Avenue and West Drexel Road where they found 21-year-old Karen Flores suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. There were several people at the residence, including Lopez, who was off-duty at the time. Lopez was uncooperative with deputies when asked where the gun was, according to court documents, and his father had to direct them to the gun, which was in a back room. Deputies learned that Lopez and Flores - his live-in girlfriend - were involved in a fight before the shooting, the documents stated. The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office has determined that Flores died of a single gunshot wound to the torso but has not ruled the death a suicide, said Dr. Bruce Parks, the county's chief medical examiner. Deputies are responsible for their firearms at all times.

7 comments:

  1. Karen did not kill herself. I cannot believe that this officer says, oh yea she killed herself, so it is what he says?I want justice for my dear friend, she did not deserve this. I know he did this to her. Anybody out there with advice on how to help bring justice to this wonderful daughter, mother, and friend? and to all those victims of violence and murder out there who cannot speak for themselves? Karen will always be my best friend, and Im sure time will come and justice Will be served. R.I.P Karen S Flores

    ReplyDelete
  2. ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø

    FROM SOMEONE (?) TO ME
    date: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    Sir/Ma'am,

    I stumbled upon your site researching a different subject and observed your coverage of the (former) Deputy Lopez case. As I observed the picture at the top of the page and also in the OID fatalities video 1, I noticed none of the Deputies pictured are that of Mr Lopez but of two deputies who are still employed as peace officers with impeccable records.

    Thank you for your time

    ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø

    FROM ME TO SOMEONE:
    date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Here is where I got the picture:
    http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/112677

    ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø

    I haven't received a reply since. The relatively unique name used to send the email above to me belongs to a Yuma County Sheriff's Office deputy. If the newspaper used the wrong photo I'd like to know.

    ReplyDelete
  3. To Yuri-S
    Never let go - make noise.

    Much love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, the above picture isn't Lopez, but a classmate who was wrongly identified. I was in the same class with them at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It was a very, very sad an unfortunate event that took place that morning, but Lopez did not do that to her. Karen was very sad leading up to that night and once alcohol was added to the mix, things went over board. Don't throw dirt on an innocent mans name who has been put through hell in this ordeal as well. Best wishes to Karen's family and friends. Love, hope and peace to Lopez and his family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for posting. It would be very helpful to know what you know - how you know there was no foul play.
    I think if you know something that clears suspicion it would be helpful for you to share that.
    Thanks again.
    I wasn't there so I can't - and never would - say he did something so horrible. But I do know that this blog is overflowing with officer's girlfriends and wives who are said to have committed suicide, and several officers who were found guilty of pretending it was a suicide when it was murder.
    Not to mention the particular things around this death that give wonder...

    So please share. I know you don't mean that if she was sad and drank that means that she killed herself - so there must be more. Stepping away from this particular situation, if I was living with someone who was capable of killing me I suppose that would also mean that our relationship would be such that I WOULD BE SAD, and if I'm an adult it's legal for me to drink. But if I am sad and drink does that mean I killed myself then? That's why I'm wondering if there is something more that you know.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This message goes out to Karen, her family, and friends. To those who know me and know how deeply I was affected from that unfortunate night, thank you for your support. It has been almost 8 years since the tragedy and I am now just discovering this blog. I believe I owe it to those who are still in doubt to what happened that night or those who just believed what the news were broadcasting during that time and were out to make me the enemy. I don't blame those who believed I had something to do with her death or believe there might have been some foul play, I just wish you're able to see that I am good person and would never wish this on anyone. But first I want to make it clear that I do not know why and how exactly Karen took her life that night and I will never know. I was not in the room when she decided to take her life. I only wish to have her here to explain what caused her to feel she didn't want to live. For those of you who have experienced suicide incidents I hope you understand that this is difficult to write about...Yes is was my fault for placing my weapon where she could reach it but it never crossed my mind that it would ever become a hazard to our family. The weapon was in my issued holster which was designed with two safety releases on it. It was designed to prevent someone from being able to pull it out of your holster as you wear it. I came home from work earlier that day and placed my duty belt in the same place I've put it since I began working there. We had invited family and friends for our Christmas party. Yes we were all drinking enjoying our Christmas party like most families do throughout the holidays. Yes we had gotten into a heated argument at one point of the night but nothing serious enough to result in something like that. Every couple argues at one point in their relationship and this was no exception. The autopsy results showed she had the gun powder residue left from the weapon when it discharged. The angle of the round penetrating could only be achieved by pointing it to herself. Her fingerprints were all over the weapon and holster. Detectives found her teeth marks on the holster where she bit through the holster breaking it. That's how she was able to get the weapon out of a secure holster. As I mentioned the holster had two safeties which I never showed her how to manipulate. DNA tests matched her saliva to the DNA found on the holster. This just proves I had nothing to do with her suicide. I truly believe our argument was not sufficient enough to result in taking her life. Karen is not here so I can't comment on how it affected her or what was going through her mind. If I could take the argument back I would. All I am trying to prove is that there was no foul play. I even volunteered to take a polygraph test which they conducted the next day. I don't understand why it was being reported as suspicious or that I was being uncooperative. I answered all their questions and made myself available during my time of mourning for further questioning but it was easier for them to fire me two days later and let me deal with the pain on my own. I don't despise the department but I wish they would have been more understanding and realized what I had just gone through. There's nothing I can do to change this tragedy but if I could I wouldn't hesitate. I apologize for not discovering this blog years back and responding to the doubts. But if you can try to understand that this hasn't been easy for me. Again I apologize for not being able to stop her or being able to change the outcome.

    My deepest sympathy goes out to all those that were part of Karen's life...

    ~Karen S. Flores RIP~

    Luis Lopez

    ReplyDelete

Please post updates or email them to behindthebluewall@gmail.com. No cop-hating or victim-hating comments allowed. Word verification had to be added due to spam attacks on this blog.