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Police Identify Victim, Officer Involved in Dundalk Shooting

Joshua Michael Lopez, 22, of La Marque, Texas, died when he was shot by Baltimore County Police Department Officer Heins of the North Point Precinct.

Baltimore County police Monday identified a man shot and killed by police in Dundalk Sunday morning, as well the officer who fired his weapon.

The man, identified as Joshua Michael Lopez, 22, of La Marque, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer who fired his weapon is Officer Heins, an 11-and-a-half-year veteran of the department, currently assigned to North Point Precinct 12.

Baltimore County police do not release the first names of officers involved in shooting incidents.

Officers were dispatched to the intersection of Seaside Road and Dunmanway, near the entrance of Merritt Point Park, to check on reports on several people with backpacks walking toward the trailer park, according to police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton.

Officers found one man matching that description in the 7800 block of Seaside Road.

While the officers were interviewing the man, he became combative. One officer and the suspect began to struggle on the ground, according to a statement from Batton.

The officer felt the suspect pulling on his gun belt, attempting to take his weapon. A second officer used pepper spray on the suspect, but that did not stop him.

"Fearing for their safety, the second officer then discharged his weapon, striking the subject," according to the statement.

Lopez was allegedly carrying stolen property, according to police.

Heins, who has not been involved in any previous police-involved shootings, has been placed on routine administrative leave, according to the statement.

Buzz Beeler October 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Santigo, well spoken. As a rookie this very large man threw me and a lot of others around like rag dolls. You thought he was on PCP or something, but in fact he was having a heart attack and was out of it. The drug calls were the worst because of the enormous strength these people had along with a high tolerance for pain. This is a big case and I think the truth will come out based on the forensic evidence. It's sad there has to be victims in any situation. Some turn out OK while others raise more questions. That is why being a cop is flush with situations of life and death in a matter of seconds where you don't get second chances.
DebbieReighn October 02, 2012 at 09:31 AM
Joshua Lopez was an honorable, decorated US NAVY Sailor. He was gunned down by officers. There is no doubt that police officers have a tough job, but this time they got it wrong. Where is the surveillance, where is the video of the dash camera? We live in a country where there is a legal system in place to prosecute criminals. There is a procedure to follow and instead this innocent man was denied that. As truth is revealed I pray those who can read something in the media and assume they know the story will have their eyes opened and not leap to judgment. This man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am certain that Josh fought for his life, not in combat, but as a result of over zealous police officers. They will try to build a case but they will fail. If they really were respectable officers they would tell the truth and possibly restore faith in law enforcement. Cops face tough decisions but if they live by the oath they took to protect and serve they would admit they screwed up this time. What a story headline that would make, instead of covering it up. Now that we have buried Josh I will not let this go without answers. How much coverage do you think this would get if these officers admitted what happened that evening, gave Josh's family some real closure & peace, and drew attention to the decisions officers face and how as a society we can work together for safer communities? What if these officers saved tax dollars & did the right thing?
DebbieReighn October 02, 2012 at 09:35 AM
And yes I can say innocent man, because he was never prosecuted in the court of law. Never convicted. Those who disagree with the judicial system policy of "innocent until proven guilty" need not comment.
James C October 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Santiago you ask more questions of me then you do of this news report. Pepper spray does not work, but they're still carrying it? It must still work, or why would they even have it? Granted, it does not work in all situations, but it does work. Instead of questioning me, you should be questioning this report. If you're in law enforcement, you should know this report doesn't add up. And why would you pepper spray a suspect who is fighting with your partner? Are you trying to handicap your partner, and possibly make it a one on one situation instead of two on one? Then shoot the suspect while he's wrestling with your partner? You have to be pretty close to do that and make sure it's a clean shot, without shooting your partner. And if you are that close, what happened to trying to subdue with your hands and use your own combat training? And why leave out the information of Joshua being in the military? A 'man from Texas' vs a 'Texas man currently serving in the Navy' are two different things. Nobody wants to hear of a law enforcement officer killing an active duty soldier. I just hope a full investigation is performed.
Concerned Citizen October 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
He was a friend, a great friend, biggest heart I know. These reports are wrong. Has no one ever hear of dirty cops? This is one of those cases, Baltimore pd is covering their butt bc that is what they are good at, this isn't the first undeserved death caused by Baltimore pd, and won't be the last. Parent watch your kids. Kids watch your friends. This is WRONG. Moe green, YOU are wrong.
Buzz Beeler October 02, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Before people call the cops murders and dirty, they should read this. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-co-police-involved-shooting-20120928,0,349197.story
DebbieReighn October 02, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I have read the article and to me just more questions come up. Most of which James C has already addressed. Further, it shocks me that people believe everything they read without question. Having electronic equipment in a vehicle for a young man is not unusual. Men tinker. Backpacks are not illegal. Having a flashlight in a car is smart. Having basic tools is smart. The article only mentions a screwdriver, not a crime. QUOTE Inside the vehicle he was driving, Batton said, investigators found "a significant amount of electronic equipment." Investigators "believed it was tied to other vehicles," she said. UNQUOTE. Buzz, and others still not convinced that this will have a different ending, even this article says "believed" as in UNPROVEN. I see more holes, and I know without a doubt that as long as truth is coming out, even if slowly, that we haven't heard the end of this. Look at the difference in the reports already. I know you want to side with the police officers, I suppose that would be a natural response. We are all tired of injustice of real criminals getting away with stealing and other crimes HOWEVER this is NOT one of those cases. I know for myself I drive a 2001 car, my son a 1993. We have jumper cables, tools, and all kinds of junk for the times the car has trouble starting or we are stranded. We even have slim jims in each others cars because we lock keys in by mistake. I carry a backpack daily, my son has a black duffle bag. continued....
DebbieReighn October 02, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Do we now have to be mindful of what we carry in our cars in case we are questioned in the middle of the night? This article does not satisfy a thing for me, and Buzz for you to suggest that would change minds when the investigation is still ongoing seems premature on your part. How is it you want us supporters of Josh to just lie down and accept this as an answer to why he was killed and yet you seem to have come to a conclusion BEFORE this case is thoroughly examined? Even you must admit that we should wait before drawing conclusions. Again the reports are not evidence. This story is NOT over.
Buzz Beeler October 02, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Debbie in this investigation the people are already calling the cops murders and dirty? I did not draw a conclusion I posted a news link for people to read. From what I've read the cops shot and innocent for the hell of it. The article tells what they found in the bag, nothing more. The people on this site have already called the cops murders and declared Josh innocent. I think the conclusions have already been drawn. What about the registration from one of the other cars and other electronic equipment? Where did that come from? That is evidence and will be presented at the GJ hearing.
DebbieReighn October 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Buzz, the implication of the article link was that we should read that as if it would change our minds about Josh. For myself, it only raised more questions. evidence - (law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved What if evidence showed that electronic equipment belonged in that vehicle and could be accounted for? That it was NOT stolen property? Even this article doesn't come to the conclusion of what you are suggesting. What if there is a legitimate reason for the registration upon investigation? I don't have the reasons for these things. I'm sure his beautiful family would love to ask Josh what happened? Why was you there? What's up with what the officers found? What were you asked? Did you resist? What happened for this to cause you to die? I don't want to think that the police were out of order. I hate that every time I see a police car on the road I am staring making sure all is okay. I feel this burden and wonderment of someone getting hurt or yes, even killed. Some people maintain Josh's innocence much in the same way that some readers declared him guilty. Two extremes. Even if we were on a jury we would have to wait until all evidence was presented before we deliberated. Both sides of this issue are sticking to their beliefs. But this isn't rooting for opposing teams at a game. This is a life taken. And thus I read, and write. Josh was silenced. I will not be.
Gina October 02, 2012 at 11:28 PM
If he wasn't doing the wrong thing, maybe he would still be alive. I am so tired of relatives blaming the police for shooting one of their family members. If they were at home instead of commiting a crime, and fighting with the police..hey maybe they would still be here. Criminals and their families never want to take any responsibility for their actions, they only want to blame everyone else. The police officer had to protect himself and so unfortunately this was the outcome.
Theresa October 02, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Why dont you call his parents and ask them about the vehicle registration, and tell the investigater that was suppost to be talking to the Lopez family to call them they will be able to answer those questions. I would answer them for you but its not my place. DebbieReighn i dont mean to over step you but these people are just pissing me off. I know your a friend of the family as well. We both want the same thing answer for why they shot Josh and closure for his family
Concerned Citizen October 02, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Btw josh was kinda a techy, so having lots of electronics on his is pretty norm..
Theresa October 02, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Gina I guess Like so many of others you just read the article you have not read any of the comments left by his family and friends. why dont you go back and take sometime to read the comments. before you judge on the article ignorant people.
Eastsider October 03, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Too many unknowns in this case are made public at this time. Three people know what happened that night and one of them is no longer with us to tell his side of events. Between the two investigations some type of truth will emerge. And friends, family and officers will have to deal with the outcome. I don’t know Josh and from what you say on this forum he was most likely a good kid but good kids sometime fall from goodness. As for the police officers they have a split second to decide to use lethal force to save themselves or someone else. Did these officers use the best judgment that night again that’s hard to say I wasn’t one of the three, neither were any of you. What would your opinion of Josh be if he did get a hold of the officer’s weapon and killed the officer, would he still be the good, nice, friendly Josh you all claim?
DebbieReighn October 03, 2012 at 12:35 AM
You are not overstepping me, Theresa. I do feel a moral obligation to stand for Josh. I know he would do it for my family, it's the least I can do for him. I am confused why that makes people angry. Some of their comments lack respect. I don't understand the blame and the assumptions. I don't know how quickly an investigation can be completed, but I do hope somehow something good will come of it. For anyone reading this, we aren't bitter family members and friends. We can't disclose everything we know, but in the meantime we will fight for Josh's honor. You could only blessed if you have such an outstanding man in your life. And you would believe in him until the end just as we are.
Santiago Creel October 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM
James C The reason I asked where you worked and what was your assignment is because you are providing tactical scenarios as what those officers should have done when in fact none of us were present when this occurred. And I am very surprised that you are basing your judgement on a press release! If you have ever INVESTIGATED a shooting or have been INVOLVED in a shooting you know that a Public Information Officer or a shift commander usually a Lieutenant depending on the size of the department, gives a PRESS RELEASE based on the INITIAL SUMMARY OF EVENTS. This includes: The Officers involved, the reason for them being at the location, the action taken at the scene and the number of persons killed or injured at the scene and possible evidence recovered. (pretty standard press release). Then after or during the press release they will do a WALK THROUGH. A walk through is when the District Attorney's shooting team (ADA prosecutors not Police Officers) along with The Internal Affairs Division and The Homicide Division from the Officers police department walk through the scene with the Officers and listen to them relate the events that transpired during the shooting. All the investigators that I mentioned will ask the Officers questions about the shooting and the events that led to the shooting. Everything is recorded and if they feel that something is not right they will investigate any misconduct or wrong doing. This is why we have Indepent prosecutors. Where did you work?
James C October 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Santiago I appreciate your use of ALL CAPS as if that will help you make your point. So you're telling me this is only a press release and not the full story? Great job, appreciate you filling us all in. Of course you obviously missed my initial comments where I was getting onto some of the ignorant comments made by others who were taking this article as fact, and shutting the case on Joshua. So much for innocent until proven guilty right? And of course if there is misconduct, you think that's what the officers are going to report? No, they're going to cover their butts. As there are those who provide reasons for Joshua's supposed guilt, I provide a look at the other side, Joshua's innocence. I wasn't there so I can only draw conclusions from what is written, knowing it is not the entire story, but at the same time providing counter arguments to those who are so quick to condemn a fallen soldier. R.I.P. Joshua.
Lisa Kelly-McDonald October 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Joshua was loved and respected by all those who knew him. He is greatly missed. I pray that absolute truth be revealed. I pray for his family and friends to have peace and comfort. I pray for justice in this horrible situation.
Santiago Creel October 03, 2012 at 08:17 PM
James C I dont really know if you were an Officer or not but you sure dont go by what you preach! These are your own words: "So much for innocent until proven guilty right?" ...... I do believe in innocence until proven guilty but for both parties. If those Officers committed a crime then they will get what they deserve. But dont come in this forum and speak about how they failed to do this and do that without complete knowledge of the facts or without being present during the altercation. You sound like the same "ignorant" people that you are criticizing. If you indeed were and Officer then help your family and explain how the Justice System works and what are their options instead of coming in here and pointing out that one party is guilty. THIS IS WHY I EXPLAINED TO YOU WHAT A PRESS RELEASE IS and what it contains. Read your own words: "They fail to mention Joshua was in the military serving his country, and was planning to get married in a couple of months. Would that make the officers look bad?" I hope you understand what a press release is and what it contains now.
Buzz Beeler October 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Santiago, scroll up and read my comments where I posted the Sun Story. It's all there.
James C October 04, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Santiago obviously you have a problem reading people's comments. I've defended the family against some of the crass comments here which degraded Joshua. I also have continually expressed my desire for a full investigation and the entire truth to be revealed. Sounds like innocent until proven guilty to me. I've called into question the actions as stated in the article. This neither condemns nor justifies the police actions. Questions. You do understand what those are, don't you? Once again, thank you kindly for your explanation of what a PRESS RELEASE is. Without your insight we'd all be lost. You alone have saved the integrity of this internet message board, and for that we are eternally grateful. And, yes, they could have included more info on Joshua, instead of calling him a man from La Marque, Texas. If they could figure out what city and state he was from, you'd think they'd also know he was in the military. They didn't fail to mention the officer's time in service on the force. Just conveniently left out the information that this officer happened to kill a soldier. R.I.P. Joshua.
Santiago Creel October 04, 2012 at 02:35 AM
James C, I cant have a battle of wits with an unarmed man. I do hope that this is solved and that Justice is served for both parties. By the way you never said where you worked as a former law enforcement officer.
James C October 04, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Battle of wits with an unarmed man...well I've never heard that line before. Nice try, but once again you fall short. If you want to talk about unarmed men we should talk about Joshua. And my former place of employment is irrelevant to this article. Someone asked if anyone had experience in law enforcement or military and I acknowledged I did. Didn't know I would then become the subject of investigation, where, when, how long...etc. Nice try to deflect the main issue, but I'm not interested in playing your childish games. I've expressed my questions and concerns about this incident, and I look forward to the truth coming out. R.I.P. Joshua.
Arbutus Town Crier October 05, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Buzz, FBI Crime statistics goes by zip codes? If that is true crime statistical incorrect when zip code cross over city line like 21229 city county shared? I just noticed that when homes being sold in the county they show FBI city stats on county homes that effects insurance and truth on crime percentages. Am i correct?
Nick Haas October 15, 2012 at 11:16 AM
SEE what you YANKEES fail to realize is you sound retarded. I know how cops are and they murdered my friend. The last time he was down and I got to see him guess what we did we to guitar center and BOUGHT strings because that's what josh does BUYS things he had 8 grand he never said hey Haas lets go break into cars of course fucking not because he wasn't like that one thing is for sure this is one sided for sure and "ca" the comment about his blood being left there I hope he haunts the shit out of you for the rest of your life...
Buck Harmon October 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM
So what's happening with this case right now?
Jay Fitzgerald October 16, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Investigations take time to come to a final conclusion. Sadly all those involved continue to be affected. The neighborhood is understandably jumpy with all the venom spewed towards them FOR looking out for one another from strangers breaking into their property. They're saddened to know a young man died making a series of poor choices and that his family and friends are heartbroken. One neighbor came home from work to find several small American flags near where Josh died. They were left alone out of respect and then by morning someone else had come and removed them...again even this made it sadder. Another neighbor there has family in the Navy and the police departments but they especially understand loss and the need to fully evaluate all the evidence surrounding the events before people were forced to call 911 in the first place.
Buzz Beeler October 16, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Jay, I would error on the side of caution. Many times small inconsequential observations can be crucial. It's best to call just to make sure on either side. Leave no stone unturned. The public is not trained to make those kinds of decisions. All evidence is important.
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