A Salt Lake City couple belives their home was targeted by a drive-by shooting early Wednesday morning because their home provides a safe space for the LGBTQ and undocumented community, reports ABC4 Utah.
Xochiacatl Lopez says he was getting up for work just before 2:30 a.m. when he heard several loud gunshots hitting his home and car.
“I heard a shot. The first thing that crossed my mind was it sounded too close and then I heard a bunch of them. I just rolled down to the bed, into the floor. I covered her with my body until the shooting stopped,” he said.
One of the bullets, he said, went through a wall inside his home.
He added, “We found where it went through a closet and hit a bunch of stuff, and then I had to get the cops and say, ‘Hey, the bullets, they went through the house.”
Lopez says his home is a place of safety for the community and children.
“What was going through my mind was, it finally happened, you know? A shooting to the house, a house that helps out the community which tries to protect everybody by declaring everybody equal,” he adds. “This house is a home that helps out those in need and focuses in the LGBTQ community and the undocumented community as well.”
Lopez also believes he was targeted because he flies LGBTQ, Mexican, and Native American flags outside his home.
On Facebook, Lopez told the public, “I got these flags up, so if you did it because this flag bothers you, or this one, or this one, or this one, you know which one was it?”
“We have actual rounds going as you can see in the video that you shared with me and that concerns us. Those can hurt and kill somebody very easily,” said Detective Michael Ruff with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Ruff said as of right now, detectives can’t say this is a hate crime.
“In the long run, he has got several flags out in front of his house that supports different groups, if that motive is there, we will certainly pursue that motive,” said Det. Ruff.
He added, “In this case, I don’t have any indication that there is any reason for this house to be shot up or for these people to be victims. We want to find out regardless.”
The Lopez family says they forgive the shooter and would like their help.
“If you think you’re tough like that, feed the hungry. You know that is something tough to do. That is something that has credibility and has worth in this life,” said Lopez.
If you have anything that can help catch the person or people responsible for the drive-by shooting, you are asked to contact Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-INFO (4636).