Lopezes were shot four times each
The husband and wife who were slain Saturday in their home in Sopris Village were each shot four times, according to autopsies that were performed Tuesday.
“The cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds,” Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said. “The manner of death was homicide.”
Bettis said Mayra Lopez, 40, and her husband, Eliseo Lopez, 42, both had gunshot wounds to their heads and to their bodies. She said she could not comment on how close the shooter was to the victims at the time of the gunshots because she needed to study the autopsy reports in more detail.
The preliminary reports came out at about 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Bettis said the time of death would have been “immediate” for both of the Lopezes.
The couple were slain in their home at 160 Arapahoe, a subdivision in unincorporated Eagle County, immediately south of the El Jebel City Market. The shooting was reported at 11:17 p.m. Saturday. The couple’s nephew, Williams Anderson Amaya, 33, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection to the shootings. He is being held without bond at the Eagle County Jail.
Amaya was renting a room in the Lopez home. There were seven other people in the house at the time of the shooting, including Amaya’s brother, his wife and their daughter.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown said during Amaya’s first court hearing Monday that other charges likely will be filed in the case.
“Other occupants appeared to be targeted during this event,” Brown said outside the courtroom Monday. “It appears that similar means used against the victims were contemplated to be used against others. Some of the forensic evidence indicated that.”
Brown also disclosed that it is suspected that Amaya purchased a handgun the day of the shootings.
Amaya allegedly fled the scene before Eagle County deputy sheriffs arrived minutes after a call was placed by one of the Lopez sons to 911. He was arrested early Sunday morning at the business where he worked in rural Garfield County. He surrendered after notification that a SWAT team had the building surrounded. Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said the suspected murder weapon, a .380-caliber handgun, was recovered from Amaya’s car.
Eagle County Sheriff’s Office authorities couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night on whether it is suspected that Amaya reloaded his weapon during the incident.
An arrest affidavit filed in the case said witnesses reported an argument broke out prior to the eruption of gunfire. Amaya was allegedly yelling at Mayra Lopez about the family dog.
Amaya’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 28.
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Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.