SPRINGVILLE — A 23-year-old Springville man is in custody after police say he shot and killed his mother Wednesday in the presence of two of his sisters.
Mike Lopez is being held in the Utah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder in the killing of Victoria Ramirez, 43.
According to a probable cause statement, the shooting happened Wednesday after Lopez purchased a shotgun and handgun at a sporting goods store the day before. A 17-year-old girl who escaped the 944 S. 1000 East residence after the shooting told police that Lopez had entered the room with a shotgun after the family sat down at a table to eat dinner.
Lopez placed the shotgun at the table, then pointed it at Ramirez, her daughter said.
The 17-year-old claimed that Lopez then looked at his 14-year-old sister and the two "gave each other a head nod." She reported that Ramirez said, "I know you're going to kill me."
The 17-year-old ran toward the bathroom to check on her little sister. She told police she turned around just in time to see Lopez shoot Ramirez in the neck. Lopez "then walked over and grabbed the (14-year-old) by the arm and they started dancing."
The 17-year-old escaped the house through the bathroom window and called her older sister, who then called police. She told police she believes the 14-year-old knew what was going to happen because of what she saw. She also said Lopez had been "acting really strange lately" and "meditating a lot where he claims to go to different dimensions and talking about a lot of bad people."
When police arrived at the home, they said in a news release that Lopez had "barricaded himself in a bathroom in the basement." After a "short stand-off" he was taken into custody without incident, they said.
The probable cause statement says Lopez was in a bathtub and the shotgun was leaning against the tub. He was unharmed but "was acting unresponsive," the statement says.
Both Lopez and his 14-year-old sister were transported to the hospital, the latter for "injuries sustained while taking her into custody," the news release says. In the probable cause statement, officers said they interviewed the 14-year-old and that she "claimed it wasn't her mother who was shot."
"When we asked who it was she stated it was someone else," officers wrote.
The 14-year-old told police that she and Lopez have been spending lots of time together lately and have been taking turns sleeping to watch over one another. She also said she was with Lopez when he purchased the guns on Tuesday.
The teen denied knowing in advance that Lopez would shoot Ramirez but admitted to dancing with him after he had. "She did not show any emotion during the interview," police wrote.
After initially being unresponsive to officers, Lopez agreed to speak with one and "said someone told him to" shoot Ramirez "and it was like 'deja vu.'" Lopez's blood was tested at the hospital and returned positive for THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. The 17-year-old sister also told police that Lopez had been supplying the 14-year-old with marijuana.