For Immediate Release
PR #:2000024
Date Issued:Feb 14, 2020 - 4:44pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office updates officer involved shooting investigation

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue to lead the regional investigation of an officer involved shooting that occurred Thursday night during a police response to a reported hostage situation in Sparks.

As previously reported by the Sparks Police Department, officers initially responded to the area of the 500 block of Sparks Boulevard at approximately 7:37 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, 2020 on a report of a possible hostage situation in the area.

Responding officers determined the male suspect and a female victim were located inside a residence at the Park Vista Apartments on Sparks Boulevard. Due to the circumstances, officers with the Sparks Police Department, assisted by officers from the Reno Police Department, made an emergency entry into the apartment shortly before 9:00 p.m.

While making entry, the situation escalated, resulting in an officer involved shooting. The male suspect was declared deceased at the scene. The female victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries not related to the shooting.

No other civilians or officers were injured in this incident.

Today, the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the decedent as Abel Lopez-Lopez, age 37, of Sparks. Next of kin have been notified.

The Washoe County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Protocol has been activated. The Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for this investigation, working with investigators from the Reno Police Department, and the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. Once completed, the investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney for his review.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Washoe County Sheriff's Office at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office case: 20-756
Reno Police case: 20-3044
Sparks Police case: 20-1389


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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