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Springville man, 23, killed mother in presence of teenage sisters, police say

Son allegedly told police ‘someone told him to do it and it was like ‘deja vu,’’ according to Springville police

SHARE Springville man, 23, killed mother in presence of teenage sisters, police say

Utah County Jail

SPRINGVILLE — Police say a 23-year-old Springville man fatally shot his mother just as the family was getting ready to have dinner Wednesday, then danced with his 14-year-old sister immediately after the killing.

Mike Lopez was booked into the Utah County Jail early Thursday for investigation of aggravated murder after his release from Utah Valley Hospital. Police had taken him to the hospital for evaluation late Wednesday.

When Lopez pointed a shotgun at his mother over their kitchen table, she responded, “I know you’re going to kill me,” according to a police affidavit. Lopez shot the 43-year-old Victoria Ramirez once in the neck after exchanging nods with the same sister, the report states.

Another sister, age 17, saw the violence and the aftermath, police said.

Officers found Ramirez deceased at the kitchen table in her home, 944 S. 1000 East, on Wednesday evening. They arrived at the house after a woman called Springville police to report that her sister, a minor, called her and told her their brother had just shot their mother.

Officers found Lopez in a bathtub in the basement of the home, uninjured but seemingly unresponsive. “A shotgun was leaning up against the tub where Mike was at,” the police affidavit reads.

An ambulance transported him to the hospital, where police obtained a warrant for blood, which tested positive for THC, the compound in marijuana that produces a high.

Later, in an interview with police, Lopez allegedly said “someone told him to do it and it was like ‘deja vu,’” according to the affidavit.

His 14-year-old sister sustained injures when police apprehended her and was taken to a hospital, Springville police said in a statement Thursday.

In an interview with police, the 17-year-old said she saw her brother and sister nod at each other before her younger sister got up from her chair and walked toward a bathroom.

The elder sister heard her mother say, “I know you’re going to kill me,” but did not believe the gun was loaded, the report says. She told officers she turned around at the bathroom door just in time to see Lopez shoot their mother in the neck, according to police.

“Mike then walked over and grabbed the 14-year-old by the arm and they started dancing,” the report continues.

The older sister locked herself in a bathroom and climbed out the window, then ran from the home and called her adult sister, who lives in nearby Spanish Fork, according to Springville police.

She told police her brother had bought a shotgun and handgun a day earlier, and alleged Lopez had been supplying her younger sister with marijuana.

“She stated Mike has been acting really strange lately where he has been meditating a lot where he claims to go to different dimensions and talking about a lot of bad people,” the report says.

The girl also told police she thought her younger sister “knew this was going to happen because the circumstances she had witnessed,” the affidavit says.

Officers described the 14-year-old as “acting very strange” and said she did not show any emotion when officers interviewed her at the Springville Police Department.

The girl “admitted she and Mike have been together a lot lately and they take turns sleeping so they can watch over one another,” the affidavit states. She allegedly told police she was with her brother when he bought the guns, but denied knowing he would shoot her mother. She said she was in the bathroom when a gunshot rang out.

“When asked about her mother she claimed it wasn’t her mother who was shot,” according to the affidavit. “When we asked who it was she stated it was someone else.”

When an officer asked her about dancing with her brother, “she looked at me and smiled and stated she remembered dancing and then she was trying to recite the song for me,” the report says.

A doctor told police “he believed (Lopez) was faking his condition,” the police affidavit says. Lopez “still acted like he was unresponsive,” asked why he was going to jail and in large part would not speak with officers.

Court records indicate he does not have a criminal record in Utah.

He has not yet been formally charged in his mother’s death and it was unclear Thursday whether he has an attorney.

There is help available for Utahns facing violence or abuse in their homes. Resources can be found at udvc.org/resources/prevention/safety-planning.html and udvc.org/resources/lethality-assessment-program.html.