APS Police say a school custodian pulled a gun on a group of kids. He was arrested and quit his job.
It was a bizarre string of events one night in December when APS Police were called to Barcelona Elementary school in the South Valley.
“What’s your name, sir?” said the officer.
“Ray Lopez,” the custodian replied.
When officers arrived, they located the school’s custodian, Ray Lopez, and six kids. They told officers they wanted a picture with Mario painted on a mural. They said when Lopez spotted them, he pulled a gun.
“The only reason I drew my gun is because I was playing cat and mouse with them, chasing all over the place,” Lopez told the officers.
He said he thought the kids were trying to break-in to one of the portables. Surveillance video shows the kids roaming around.
“I took my gun out to protect myself. That portable’s already been broken into two or three times,” said Lopez.
The kids told officers Lopez threatened to kill them. The surveillance video also shows Lopez running.
“I said stop running, stop running! I don’t want to kill you, I don’t want to kill you,” he said.
Officers quickly confiscated his loaded gun. Lopez said he’d been chasing the kids for about 45 minutes, which was concerning to officers.
“Did you call anybody?” asked the officer.
“No,” Lopez replied.
He was ultimately arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a gun on school property.
“If I did wrong on my part, I’m sorry,” Lopez told officers.
Parents who KRQE News 13 spoke to say he’s a good person, a family man, and they feel bad this happened.
Lopez has no prior criminal record in New Mexico. Police would not say if the kids were charged for trespassing or anything else.