Reporting and photos: Nissa Tzun
Tonight at a vigil for Junior Lopez, Amber Bustillos, the fiancée, interviews with Fox 5 News, alongside Junior's father, Jorge Luis Martinez. Amber witnessed the police shooting of Junior early Friday morning in East Las Vegas on Charleston Boulevard and Madge Lane. April 9, 2018, East Las Vegas, NV.
LAS VEGAS - On the morning of April 6th around 4:45AM, 22-year old Junior Lopez was driving with his fiancee, Amber Bustillos, and friend Kimberly Gonzalez. Junior and Amber had just moved into a new house in the area and Junior had taken a wrong turn down Madge Lane, a known shortcut in the area that drivers usually speed down to cut time. As Junior sped down the road, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police pulled him over.
Rather than approach the car window, Officer Mills and Officer Rivera exited the patrol car and ordered Junior to step out of the vehicle. According to witnesses Amber and Kimberly, they recall the officers shouting, "Get the f--k out of the car!" Junior announced that he had a gun and that he was licensed to carry. Junior exited the car and threw his hat and holstered gun on the ground. The officers then demanded that he put his hands up and that he go down on his knees, which he proceeds to do. Junior shouted, "Don't shoot me!! Don't shoot me!!" with his hands raised. Kimberly and Amber watched the first two shots hit Junior. Junior then rolled over on his back. Both women recalled that he gasped for air, and then was shot at a again.
On Monday, April 9th, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police held a press conference and released both body camera videos of the incident. Amber posed the question in her interview with Fox 5 News why couldn't she hear, "Don't" in Junior's phrase, "Don't shoot me!!" and why was the first 30 seconds of the audio unavailable, leaving out the command from the officers for Junior to exit the vehicle and other parts of the witness testimonies?
Junior was currently employed with Lyft, and was preparing to become a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He completed his written exam on April 4th.
Kimberly Gonzalez, friend of victim Junior Lopez and his fiancee, Amber Bustillos, shares her experience with Fox 5 News. She was handcuffed and mistreated after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police shot Junior to death, and was kept away from Amber who was being interviewed. April 9th, 2018, East Las Vegas, Nevada.
Video courtesy of Fox 5 News.