SOUTHHAVEN, MS (WATN) – An arrest warrant confirms a Southaven, Mississippi police officer shot and killed a man at the wrong address Sunday night. 41-year-old Ismael Lopez Rodriguez died from the gunfire at 5881 Surrey Lane in Tate County, near Memphis. But the arrest warrant listed 5878 Surrey, across the street.
Those who live on this block are furious, even frightened, after this error by Southaven police cost the life of their neighbor, whom they describe as helpful, kind, and welcoming.
Now, Lopez Rodriguez’ family hired an attorney and want answers.
According to the warrant, Tate County was after 25-year-old Samuel Pearman, accused of hitting a woman Sunday night outside a convenience store east of Coldwater. The Tate County sheriff said the woman, Pearman’s ex-girlfriend, gave authorities his Southaven address; 5878 Surrey Lane.
But Southaven officers instead went to the wrong across the street Sunday night, at 5881 Surrey, where Ismael Lopez Rodriguez lived.
Monday, District Attorney John Champion said Southaven officers ordered Lopez Rodriguez put a gun down, before one officer fired multiple shots in the front doorway, killing the father and husband. Lopez Rodriguez’s wife insists the 41-year-old wasn’t holding any gun.
Tuesday afternoon, attorney Murray Wells said the family is devastated, and his legal team will do their own investigation as they consider a possible lawsuit.
“Then we’ll start working with law-enforcement to the extent that they will give us answers because the family is in complete shock and they don’t understand what happened. Right now, they just want justice. They want answers and they want the truth of who this man was,” says Wells. “The primary thing that this family wanted was the story of who this man was to come out. So, whether not we file a lawsuit, our immediate mission is to let everybody know that this was a good man who was at home by himself with his wife when he was shot, when the police made a terrible mistake.”
Neither the Southaven police or the DeSoto County District Attorney will release the name of the officer who fired the deadly shots or his current status with the police department.
Investigators did an autopsy of Lopez Rodriguez Tuesday.
No word yet from family on his funeral arrangements.