Ricardo Garcia Lopez, a laborer and father of four from San Francisco, is accused of going on a shooting spree outside of his home over the weekend, killing three of his young children and then turning the gun on himself.
Lopez was arrested back in March and May on domestic abuse charges and barred from owning a gun, according to the Napa Valley Register. However, that didn’t stop him from finding a gun, coming to the children’s mother’s house, and murdering three of his four children.
Here’s what you need to know about Lopez:
1. Lopez Was Arrested Twice Earlier This Year for Domestic Battery & Was Also a Registered Sex Offender
Lopez was arrested March 10 on a felony charge of “inflicting corporal injury on a spouse” and released on $10,000 bail, according to records from the Lake County Sheriff’s office and the Lake County Superior Court.
Lopez pleaded guilty to battery and sentenced to three years of probation. The court also issued a restraining order and barred Lopez from owning or possessing a firearm, according to court clerk Luanne Hayes.
Just two short months later, police arrested Lopez again on May 24 on a misdemeanor complaint of spousal battery and released him on $25,000 bail, Hayes said, according to the Napa Valley Register. Police issued a bench warrant for Lopez’s arrest after he failed to show up for his scheduled arraignment in July.
“Lopez was also facing three charges of failure to register as a sex offender, according to sheriff records from his May arrest. Details of the sex offender case were not immediately available and did not appear to stem from Lake County,” the court said.
2. Lopez Shot & Killed Three of His Children Before Turning the Gun on Himself
The children’s mother called 911 shortly after midnight on Sunday, claiming Lopez was firing a gun outside of her house, police in Clearlake said Monday. She then ran from the house to get help.
Responding officers found Lopez, 39, dead in the driveway from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Clearlake police.
Police then found a gruesome scene inside an SUV parked outside the home. All four of the couple’s children were inside; three of the children, ages 9 months, 2 and 4, were dead from gunshot wounds, according to Clearlake Police Sgt. Tim Hobbs.
3. One Child Survived After Being Shot in the Chest & is Hospitalized in Stable Condition
A 5-year-old was also shot in the chest, but was alive when officers arrived and is now hospitalized in stable condition, according to Hobbs.
Police gave medical aid to the injured child until paramedics arrived, the Press Democrat reports. The child was transported to Adventist Health Clear Lake and then flown to an out-of-county hospital.
The child was reported in stable condition Sunday, according to Hobbs.
Detectives didn’t release the names of the children Sunday. They also didn’t offer a motive for the shooting, as of Tuesday morning.
4. A GoFundMe Has Been Set Up To Help the Family With Funeral Costs for the Children & Lopez
A GoFundMe has been started to help the family with funeral costs. The page is adorned with several pictures of the children, and a smiling Lopez holding two of them.
The description on the page has been translated from Spanish to English. It reads: “No one is perfect more than our Lord. We ask compassion, and forgiveness for the soul of Rico (Ricardo Garcia Lopez). Only GOD knows why things had to happen that way. We are all torn apart by the little ones but also by the pain of losing a loved one who could not find the strength to seek help and have to leave so soon and still leave an immense void to his mother, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.”
The description continues: “We ask your kindness to help funeral service for Rico and his three children, because my aunt was widowed with her children all small and with many efforts to try to get them all forward. Thank you and most of all we ask for your prayers for the family.”
The page has raised $350 of the $6,000 goal as of Tuesday morning.
5. Neighbors Claim the Home Was in a Quiet, Private Area & Remember When Lopez Was Arrested Months Ago
The devastating incident took place at the children’s home, which was located near the end of a dirt road, cordoned with a large wooden fence, according to the Press Democrat. “It’s in a part of town where people keep mostly to themselves,” according to nearby neighbor Eddie Williams.
Williams told the Press Democrat that he didn’t know the family but did remember when police arrested Lopez a few months ago.
“She called the cops. That’s the only time I ever met her,” Williams said about the wife.
Williams did not hear the gunshots Sunday, but found out about the shooting when he went to work around 7 a.m. and saw the police cars at the residence.