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Officer Valentine D. San Antonio Police Department, Texas

Officer

Valentine D. "Val" Lopez, Jr.

San Antonio Police Department, Texas

End of Watch: Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 54

Tour: 31 years

Badge # 287

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 2/17/1977

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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On February 17, 1977, Officer Val Lopez, Jr., responded to a call regarding a man with a gun at a bar. He was initially the cover officer but was closer, so he reached the scene first. According to witnesses, as soon as Officer Lopez entered the bar, the suspect began to shoot. Officer Lopez was shot twice. One bullet struck his abdomen and the other hit his badge first before striking his chest.

The suspect was identified as 41-year-old Jack Barber. He was charged and convicted with attempt to Commit Capital Murder. He was sentenced to life in prison and has since died.

While Officer Lopez eventually returned to duty and served another 29 years, he never fully recovered from the wound to his abdomen. Officer Lopez developed complications during surgery and died on June 21, 2006.

Officer Lopez leaves behind a wife and two daughters. He was buried in the Mission Park South Cemetery in San Antonio.

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Vale, my family had asked me to write about my career with the prison system. I could not begin without a section on you. You were and still are in my thoughts. In fact I have your picture in my work shop and see it everyday. Thank you for being such a true friend. Miss you and take solace in knowing you are reaping the rewards of our Lord.

Sam Buentello
TDCJ, retired
April 30, 2016

 

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