A 28-year-old Mercedes man accused of forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s house at 3 a.m., holding a gun to her head while her three children were in the house and shooting at police, entered a not guilty plea to a slew of charges Wednesday morning.
A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted David Jaques Lopez Feb. 23 on two counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer, four counts of unlawful restraint expose to serious bodily injury and a count of burglary of habitation with the intent to commit another felony.
He was arraigned on the indictment Wednesday.
Lopez has been in custody since his Dec. 8 arrest on a total of $3.2 million in bonds.
The alleged violent encounter began about 2:46 a.m. that day when Mercedes police officers Victor Zavala and Jorge Cuevas responded to a residence in the 600 block of Washington Avenue to investigate a 9-1-1 hang up.
A probable cause affidavit said Zavala activated his patrol unit’s lights on arrival to get a better view of the residence before walking to the side of the house to see if he could hear a disturbance as Cuevas went and knocked on the front door.
“Officer Zavala heard a female crying inside the residence and heard someone else talking. Officer Cuevas knocked on the front door again at which point Officer Zavala heard gunshots coming from inside the residence and noticed that the gunshot rounds came through the front window where they were standing in front of,” the affidavit stated.
When that window broke, the officer realized whoever was inside was shooting at them and ran to take cover.
“Minutes later, a third shot was fired from inside the residence front window towards said Officers direction,” an investigator wrote in the affidavit.
As more Mercedes police arrived, officers with the Weslaco Police Department and deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the location.
According a statement on the Mercedes Police Department’s Facebook page, which at the time was attributed to former chief Dagoberto “Dago” Chavez, the standoff lasted about two hours.
The affidavit said Lopez walked out of the residence’s back door “holding a gun in his right hand close to his face” as the sheriff’s office SWAT team moved in and apprehended him.
In a news release, Mercedes public information officer Lt. Frank Sanchez said authorities convinced Lopez to drop the weapon.
The affidavit also described how one of the children in the residence texted her biological father about what was going on and was able to provide live updates to police while inside the residence.
The woman told police that she had dated Lopez for less than a year and last had contact with him in March 2020.
She said she was able to dial 9-1-1 after hearing a bang in the back of her residence, followed by footsteps coming toward her room.
“Ms. Heys stated she immediately dialed 911 and while the phone was ringing, Mr. Lopez turned the light to the room on and reached for the phone. As he did, he bit onto Ms. Hey’s right hand, and caused the 911 call to be interfered and somehow managed to hang up the call,” the affidavit stated.
Mercedes police refer to her by a pseudonym in the affidavit.
“Mr. Lopez then forcefully took Ms. Heys to the kitchen area back door while holding a gun against her head. Ms. Heys continued to state that Mr. Lopez told her to stay still and be quiet or he would kill her,” the affidavit stated.
Lopez’s next court hearing is scheduled for late May.