Three arrested in February San Luis fatal shooting

The scene of the altercation, 907 Alfonso Street.

SAN LUIS — Authorities in Costilla County have arrested three individuals in connection with the fatal shooting of Christopher Lopez during the evening of February 3, 2021 in San Luis. Tomas Espinoza, 28, and Josiah Medina, 19, were taken into custody on April 29, 2021. The third individual, Marcello Gamboa, 22, was already in custody at the Costilla County Jail on unrelated charges.

According to statements in the arrest warrant obtained from the Costilla County Clerk’s office, Espinoza, Gamboa and Medina had come to the residence of Richard Jones, 907 Alfonso Street, looking for Christopher Lopez, who was not there. An argument ensued, resulting in Jones striking Espinoza, who fell to the ground. According to the warrant, Jones alleges that Espinoza said, “I’m going to kill you” and left, along with Gamboa and Medina.

Shortly after the three left the property, Christopher Lopez arrived at Jones’ house, saying “They’re after me.” Jones then alleges that he, Lopez and a third man, Mario Desantiago, went into the living room.

After leaving Jones’ house, according to the arrest warrant, Marcelo Gambao states that he and Tomas Espinoza then went to Espinoza’s house where Espinoza “armed himself with a 30/30 rifle”. Gambao says that Espinoza told him he “was going to teach Richard [Jones] a lesson.”

At that time, Gambao allegedly left to go to his parents’ house and Espinoza walked in the direction of Richard Jones’ house. Gambao further states that he witnessed Espinoza fire three shots at Jones’ house and then threatened Gambao and his family.

The arrest warrant states that Jones, Lopez and Desantiago were in the living room when they heard a gunshot outside. The three men then moved into the kitchen/dining room area, which is more centrally located in the house.  The men then heard a second gunshot.  Jones said he “felt something hit his head, so he fell to the ground.”

Lopez fell to the ground at the same time, stating he had been hit. According to Jones, Lopez said, “I’m dead.”

Richards went to a neighbor’s house and called 911. The Costilla County Sheriff’s Office received a “shots fired” call at approximately 11:50 pm, and Deputy Hunter Velasquez was dispatched to the scene where he found a male, later identified as Christopher Lopez, inside the house in the area near the dining room and kitchen. The male, with blood covering his upper torso, was unresponsive and with no pulse.

Espinoza, Gamboa and Medina have been charged with Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and are being held in the Costilla County Jail. Bond is set at $100,000 cash.

All individuals are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

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