The ex-boyfriend of a special education teacher who was killed outside her Garfield Ridge home was in custody Wednesday after allegedly shooting an Illinois State Police trooper in Springfield, according to family and the victim’s police.
The suspect in the officer shooting was identified as Cristobal Santana, 37, of Chicago, by Illinois State Police. In a statement, state police said Santana was also wanted for a “recent” murder in Chicago, but did not provide further details.
Relatives of Adrianna Lopez, 37, who was shot to death outside her home Sunday night, say Santana is her ex-boyfriend and that she recently showed signs of violence against him. She was shot more than ten times, police said.
“She was a wonderful person, she cared about her family and others,” her sister, Norma Lopez, told the Chicago Sun-Times through tears. “She was happy.”
On Wednesday afternoon, a police squad could be seen outside the house where the family was meeting. Relatives told reporters they spoke to a Chicago police detective but were frustrated with the lack of information police provided.
Lopez’s niece, Michelle Martinez, said the family learned of Santana’s arrest through social media.
“The CPD doesn’t let us know anything,” Martinez said. “We are very concerned and we just want to know what is really happening. We try to apply as much pressure as possible.
State police said an officer “interacted” with Santana around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday in Springfield. During the interaction, shots were fired and the officer was shot in the leg. Santana fled but was arrested around 2 a.m., according to the release.
The soldier remained hospitalized Wednesday evening in serious condition, according to another statement, which said Santana was also injured and hospitalized. It is not clear how he was injured.
As of Wednesday, Santana had not been charged in either shooting.
About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Adrianna Lopez and a friend had just returned to her home in the 5400 block of South Narragansett Avenue after going out to eat, her brother-in-law Noel Jaramillo said.
“(Santana) was there waiting for him,” said Jaramillo, who said the man with him witnessed the shooting.
Oralia Luis, who has lived at the end of a normally quiet neighborhood for more than 30 years, said she heard gunshots ring out that evening but thought it might have been fireworks. She went outside and saw dozens of neighbors rushing to help Lopez.
“Everyone was telling him to stay alive,” Luis told the Sun-Times. “The poor girl.”
Adrianna Lopez died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“She was so nice, she was so nice to everyone. This is insane. » said Jaramillo.
Lopez and Santana dated for about a year and a half before splitting just three months ago, according to family members.
The family said they saw no signs of violence while the two were dating, but about a month ago, Jaramillo claimed Santana kicked down a door while they were arguing. Around the same time, an argument between Lopez and Santana turned physical and Martinez said she helped her aunt seek a protection order.
Law enforcement could not immediately confirm that a protection order was in effect.
Lopez had no children but cared for his nieces and nephews as if they were his own.
“He was a very happy soul,” Martinez said. “She always wanted to listen. She was like a mother. She was my best friend. She was the only person I could go to for everything and know who I could count on.
Lopez had worked for about three years as a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools at Nathan S. Davis Elementary School in the Brighton Park neighborhood, Martinez said.
Although many questions remain, the family said they are relieved that their ex-boyfriend is in custody.
Services for Lopez will be held Sunday and Monday. The school where Lopez worked also plans to hold a vigil, Martinez said.
“Right now we are all in denial,” Martinez said. “I was talking to him literally, hours before this happened. …I’m very distracted just wanting justice for my aunt.
Domestic violence remains a problem
Last year in Chicago, there were 36 domestic violence homicides involving firearms and 79 non-fatal domestic violence shootings, according to a release from the Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence.
“When victims of domestic violence go to court for a protection order, we need to make sure the protection works, especially when it involves a gun. For Adrianna Lopez, we have failed,” wrote Amanda Pyron, executive director of the Network, in a statement.
The Network is demanding that the Illinois General Assembly pass legislation to take guns away from people accused of domestic violence.
Karina’s bill, named in honor of Karina Gonzelez, who was fatally shot in her Little Village home, would require law enforcement to remove firearms when executing a protection order from ’emergency. It would also clarify language allowing judges to issue a search warrant when ordering the removal of a firearm.