12/16/08 — Eureka man ID'd as Mount Olive shooting victim

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Eureka man ID'd as Mount Olive shooting victim

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 16, 2008 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A Eureka man who apparently was shot while trying to get out of a vehicle has been identified as the victim of the Friday morning murder.

Police found Santos Anton Lopez, 42, of 104 Dotsie Lane at Eureka lying in the roadway in the outermost southbound lane of busy North Breazeale Avenue near the entrance to the Rose's parking lot.

Lopez was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he later died. An autopsy performed Saturday confirmed the cause of death as a gunshot wound.

It was the town's second murder in three days.

The two shootings, the first of which occurred last Tuesday night on Lee's Country Club Road near the Duplin County line, are not connected, Chief of Police Ralph Schroeder said.

Police were called to the scene of the second shooting at 11:57 a.m. Friday. At first it was thought that Lopez had been struck by or had fallen out of a vehicle.

Two town workers had been in the area when the call came in and were directing traffic when police arrived. Wayne County EMS also responded to the scene.

According to witnesses, Lopez was seen falling out of the front passenger door of a white SUV, possibly a GMC Yukon that speeded off in the southbound lane.

Lopez's vehicle, a 2002 Ford Expedition, was recovered at the Mt. Olive Centre shopping center.

The SBI has been called in to participate in the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Mount Olive Police Department at 658-5031 or Goldsboro/Wayne Crime Stoppers at 735-2255.