Monday, May 24, 2010
Officer Valentine D. Lopez
Officer Valentine (Val) D. Lopez Jr.
San Antonio Police Department, TX
Cause of Death: Gunfire
End of Watch: Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Date of Incident: Thursday, February 17, 1977
Badge Number: 287
Tour of Duty: 31 years
Suspect Info: Jack Barber; Sentenced to life
Weapon Used: Handgun
Buried: Mission Park South Cemetery
Location of Name on National and Texas Monuments
On February 17, 1977, Officer Val Lopez, Jr., responded to a call in regards to 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.
Officer Lopez served as a Sergeant First Calvary Division in the U.S. Army. Officer Lopez joined SAPD on August 15, 1975; his assignments included Patrol Division, Repeat Offenders Unit, Intelligence Unit, and Narcotics Unit. ----source San Antonio Express News and Officer Lopez’s obituary