UPDATE: One in custody, another wanted in connection to shooting of Grand Forks man
Grand Forks, ND - Grand Forks police have one man in custody and are seeking another man suspected in the murder of 24-year-old Jose Luis “Joe” Lopez, who was shot and killed at his Grand Forks apartment early Tuesday.
Though Shaw has no prior criminal record in North Dakota, he does have a long list of serious offenses in North Carolina that date back to 2001, including kidnapping in the second degree, breaking and entering and larceny. His record also shows a number of firearm-related offenses including possession of a firearm by a felon.
A second arrest warrant was issued for Dametrian Marcel Welch, 18, also of Winston-Salem, who is suspected of burglary and conspiracy to commit murder. He was arrested Wednesday on an unrelated city warrant for failing to pay fines and is confined at the Grand Forks County jail.
Shaw does not appear in North Carolina’s offender database, but he does have a few minor traffic violations in Grand Forks County.
Lopez’s family breathed a sigh of relief as investigators zeroed in on the two men Wednesday evening, releasing the suspects’ names to the public.
Lopez’s sister Monique Lopez said she had never seen the suspects before, “not a day in my life.”
Though the suspects have been named, Lt. Dwight Love of the police department said that “our work has really just started now.”
Love would not release details into the investigation of the death of Lopez, who lived in the Valley Park Apartments at 2021 S. 17th St. in Grand Forks with his fiancée Kelsie Waller, who is expecting another child in addition to their two-year-old daughter.
“Our biggest concern is that they catch who did this and bring him to justice,” Monique Lopez said.
She said intruders were breaking into her brother’s apartment early Tuesday morning. Her brother was protecting his family and trying to prevent the intruders from coming further into the apartment when he was shot, she said.
“The love he has for his daughter and unborn child was just unbelievable,” she said.
Lopez was transported to Altru Hospital where he died of his injuries.
By Wednesday, portions of the carpet and wall near Lopez’s apartment, which were stained with blood, had been removed.
In recounting memories of her brother, Monique Lopez said “there was never a dull moment when he was around.”
“He had this laugh where you could hear it 10 miles away and know it was him,” she said. Joe especially enjoyed going to the park — “as long as it had a basketball hoop” — and playing with his daughter, she said.
Though she acknowledged she will never completely move on from her brother’s murder, Monique said that bringing his killers to justice will “give us peace.”
Police advised the public to not approach the at-large suspect, Shaw, as he is considered to be armed and dangerous. Police describe him as a 5-foot-10, African-American man.
Police ask anyone with tips on Shaw’s whereabouts contact them at (701) 787-8000.
A memorial fund has been established to help the Lopez family pay for services. Donations may be sent to Jose Luis Lopez Memorial Fund, at KodaBank, 521 Second St., Minto, N.D.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact the bank at (701) 248-3242.
Murder in the Forks
Murder is rare in Grand Forks, but the city is by no means immune to the crime.
June 24, 2014 — Jose Luis “Joe” Lopez is found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds early Tuesday morning at his and his fiancée’s apartment in south Grand Forks.
Nov. 17, 2013 — Ruben Cisneros Jr. is stabbed to death at his rural home several miles northwest of Grand Forks when his ex-girlfriend and four others return for her belongings.
June 24, 2010 — Donald Chisholm is beaten and strangled to death by his brother Rodney on the very plot of land they were fighting over near Mekinock, N.D. The judge invoked the Cain and Abel Bible story before sentencing Rodney to 30 years in prison.
Oct. 27, 2007 — In this Halloween cold case, Joel Lovelien was found beaten to death in the parking lot of the Broken Drum bar. The case gained national attention when it was featured on Dateline NBC.