MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis police officer is accused of threatening to shoot his wife’s sister after a night of heavy drinking Monday evening, according to a charge filed in Ramsey County.
James John Lopez, 55, faces one felony charge of threats of violence in connection to the October 16 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police took a report of an incident that took place on Sidney Street West in St. Paul. The witness who reported the incident is the sister of Lopez’ wife, and was in town visiting her sister.
The witness said Lopez had been drinking that night and was arguing with his wife. As his wife packed her things to leave with their children for the evening, Lopez allegedly threatened his wife’s sister, who was sitting in the living room waiting to leave with her sister.
Lopez is accused of saying: “I don’t care where you go, St. Paul or Seattle, I’ll be hiding in the bushes and I’ll shoot you.” The witness said Lopez pointed his finger at her when he said this.
When police contacted Lopez’ wife, she confirmed he was drinking heavily Monday and began calling her the devil, and called her sister a witch. While “acting out of control and crazy”, he yelled at her to get out of the house, she said. She said she heard Lopez threaten to kill her sister and that her father was also present and witnessed the incident.
In an interview with an investigator, the father confirmed that Lopez threatened to kill his daughter while pointing at her as if he was holding a gun, the complaint said.
Lopez’ wife also told police that he put a gun to her head about a year ago, but did not report it because he threatened to kill her if she ever called the police.
Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Michael said Lopez has been recently relieved of duty, meaning he is still employed by the department, but not working.
On Oct. 19, Lopez’ wife obtained an Emergency Order for Protection, reporting that she believed he would shoot her.
Lopez has a prior conviction of DWI out of Scott County in May of 2016.
If convicted, Lopez faces up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.