Lawyer killed during violent carjacking

November 15, 2010 6:24:32 PM PST
A local family is in mourning after an attempted carjacking turned deadly. It happened late Sunday night, at the Champions Point apartments in northwest Houston. Police say the victim, Romulo Lopez, was talking with his girlfriend, when two men approached and tried to take his car. Lopez, 40, often told people that his mom was the love of his life. He was her only son. Monday afternoon, relatives gathered here at their apartment to comfort her.

As an attorney, Lopez was a defender of justice. His mission for the past six years was to fight for the people in Houston's El Salvadoran community who needed a voice.

His cousin Victor Cortez said, "We don't even have tears anymore. He was like a brother to me."

Sunday night the attorney was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking. It happened in the parking lot of his girlfriend's apartment complex. The couple had just returned from dinner and Lopez was dropping her off.

Reyna, who didn't want to be identified further, told Eyewitness News in Spanish that "out of nowhere came this man and he tried to get in the car. Before I knew it I heard gun shots."

Two suspects were involved. Sheriff's investigators say one of the suspects opened fire after Lopez refused to give him the car. Authorities believe what happened here may be connected to a rash of similar crimes at the adjacent complex. They are now investigating.

Sgt. Ben Bell with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said, "The suspect's description is similar and so is the MO, so we'll be looking at those cases also."

Lopez's girlfriend, who did not want to show her face, says the two had just started dating and he had planned to introduce her to his family. Today, grieving family members say they won't rest until the suspects are caught.

"Jail, justice, that's the whole thing right there," Cortez said.

Lopez was taken to a local hospital where he later died. Authorities believe at least one of the suspects may have been involved with three other recent incidents.


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