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N4T Investigators: Victim’s family outraged that deadly shooting suspect was on pretrial release

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Family and friends are mourning the death of a Tucson man who was shot and killed earlier this year on the city's south side. They are also hoping for justice in the wake of his killing.

Luis Lopez was a beloved father and just 42-years old.

Pima County Sheriff's Investigators said he was gunned down while driving on South Contractors Way.

It turned out that the man accused of killing Lopez was on pretrial release for three felonies at the time.

Those who knew and loved Lopez told the News 4 Tucson Investigators they are outraged, and they believe the crime should not have happened in the first place.

“It's very, very frustrating. It doesn't make any sense to me," said Patricia Flores, Lopez's girlfriend, and mother of his two children.

Flores was riding alongside Lopez in a minivan on February 25, when someone in another vehicle fired two shots into the couple's vehicle, and then sped off.

Pima County Sheriff's detectives said after the shooting, Flores was able to move her boyfriend into the passenger side, and drive him to the hospital, though his injuries proved to be fatal.

"Through that investigation, they were able to arrest 35-year-old Mario Obregon for first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” said Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Marissa Hernandez.

Investigators said Obregon and Lopez knew each other, and Obregon admitted to shooting at Lopez's vehicle, then selling the gun that investigators said he used to kill Lopez.

It's a crime that has devastated Flores and her family.

“I had to walk in that door and tell my children he wasn't coming home,” Flores sobbed.

According to court documents reviewed by the News 4 Tucson Investigators, last year Obregon was charged with unlawful flight from law enforcement, auto theft, and possession of burglary tools.

He appeared in court on December 23, was given a public defender and then released to the supervision of Pretrial Services without posting a bond.

“It's absolutely ridiculous because this would have never happened if that end of the court system actually held up,” Flores told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

Obregon is due back in court again next month. He is now being held without bond in the Pima County Jail.

Meanwhile, Flores has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with the family's ongoing expenses.

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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