Karen Lopez and her husband Jerry Lopez, with their seven children in Dec. 2023. Jerry Lopez, 39, was killed in Las Vegas two days after Christmas while on his way to work in what Las Vegas police say was the final carjacking in a crime spree. Karen Lopez via AP

Man allegedly killed his mother then led Las Vegas police on chase as he carjacked bystanders, killing father of 7

Authorities haven’t identified the suspect, his slain mother or a motive for the shooting.

By The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A man who authorities say fatally shot his mother two days after Christmas led police officers on a chase through the suburbs of Las Vegas and, along the way, stole a police vehicle and carjacked bystanders at gunpoint, shooting and killing one of them.

The victim killed in what Las Vegas police say was the final carjacking was 39-year-old Jerry Lopez, a married father of seven children between the ages of 3 and 11.

Karen Lopez told The Associated Press that her husband had just left for work around 4 a.m. and was minutes away from their home in southwestern Las Vegas when he unknowingly entered the suspect’s path and was killed.

According to police, the deadly crime spree began before dawn Wednesday, when the suspect shot his mother near his childhood home in southeastern Las Vegas. When officers arrived to investigate that shooting, they heard more gunfire and took cover.

At the same time, police said, the suspect stole an unoccupied patrol car and fled toward the southwestern edge of the city. Authorities haven’t identified the suspect, his slain mother or a motive for the shooting.

About 8 miles west of his parents’ home, police said, the suspect abandoned the patrol car and carjacked two more bystanders before crossing paths with Jerry Lopez.

Karen Lopez said her husband was in the wrong place at the wrong time, having pulled over the family van he was driving for the emergency vehicles that were pursuing the suspect.

Police said the suspect approached the van, opened fire on the driver, then dragged his body out of the vehicle. As the suspect took off, police officers fired multiple rounds into the stolen van, which came to a stop a short time later.

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