Family Demands Answers in Fatal San Jose State University Police Shooting

By Marianne Favro
|  Thursday, Apr 3, 2014  |  Updated 6:31 PM PDT
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The longtime partner of a man fatally shot by San Jose State police said she has witnesses who paint a different picture of how Antonio Lopez was killed. Marianne Favro reports.

The longtime partner of a man fatally shot by San Jose State police said she has witnesses who paint a different picture of how Antonio Lopez was killed. Marianne Favro reports.

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The longtime partner of a man fatally shot by San Jose State University police said she has witnesses who paint a picture of how Antonio Lopez was killed that's different than the one police describe.

Lopez, 38, was shot and killed on Feb. 21 near Eighth and San Salvador streets, a short distance from the college campus. Police claim the shooting happened after Lopez, who was carrying a drywall cutting saw, charged at another officer.

The medical examiner's officer said Lopez died from two bullet wounds to his back.

"I honestly believe this is a cover up," said Laurie Valdez, the mother of Lopez's 4-year-old son. "They are trying to figure out how to cover it up."

Valdez said Lopez might have been targeted because he was an undocumented immigrant.

"I demand to know why this happened, that they felt killing him was their only option," Valdez said. "Why was he targeted? Is it because he fit the profile of an undocumented day laborer? Or was it because he couldn't speak English?"

Valdez is calling for the officers involved in the shooting to be prosecuted for murder.

"I want them to pay just like any other murder case," Valdez said. "Just because they carry a badge does not mean they are better than anybody else. They still have to play by the same rules."

The San Jose State University Police Department did not return calls from NBC Bay Area seeking comment.

The San Jose Police Department said they are still investigating the case and cannot comment on the matter.

Valdez said she just wants the truth, for her and her son.

"The most heartbreaking thing was having him look at his father in the coffin and ask me, 'Mommy, why is daddy in this box?'" she said.

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