Sunday shooting victim identified; LPD says suspect is dead - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Sunday shooting victim identified; LPD says suspect is dead

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Posted By:  Jenn Schanz

What started with a shooting death near 18th and G streets Sunday morning led to a standoff with police and a second death in North Lincoln.

Police say they found 20–year–old Erick Musito shot in the chest and side in an apartment bathroom just before 3 a.m.

Officials believe 22–year–old Hector Lopez was responsible.

"Hector and Erick are rival gang members, and words got exchanged which ultimately turned to become physical," says LPD Chief Jim Peschong.

After some investigation into Musito's death, police went to a trailer looking for Lopez around 1 p.m. According to officials, a female came out of the trailer and informed officers Lopez had a gun.

"Officers attempted to contact Mr. Lopez in the trailer, however he was unresponsive," says Peschong.

A SWAT team, video surveillance and gas was used in an attempt to remove Lopez from the trailer. Around 6 p.m. officers were able to get inside.

They found Lopez unresponsive on the ground, next to a handgun. An autopsy is pending, but police say he likely shot himself in the head. Police didn't fire any rounds, but say they heard gunshots coming from inside the trailer. Officers believe one round was fired at them.

Those who live nearby were surprised and alarmed.

"A lot of cops [were] right here, they, I don't know...50 of them? It was a lot," says neighbor Eva Felix.

Lopez has a history with law enforcement, having been arrested for felony assault and cited for drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor child abuse earlier this year.

Lincoln police continue to investigate both deaths, and say this spike in gang related violence is a community issue, that needs community attention.

"It's not just a police department's issue. We all need to wind up being informed about gang activity so that we can all address these issues much earlier on," Peschong says.


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