Witnesses detail events leading up to deadly H-E-B shooting in Palmview

By: Monica De Anda

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The trial for a man accused in a deadly 2016 shooting at an H-E-B in Palmview continued on Monday, with the defense calling witnesses to testify about Raul Lopez’s state of mind in the weeks leading up to the shooting. 

Lopez faces eight charges, including murder and three counts of attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 

About a month before the shooting, Lopez’s family started noticing what they say were some concerning behavior changes, according to testimony on Monday. 

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“It started getting to a point where he would communicate with me in writing, like he would write in a notebook what he wanted to tell me, and then he would rip the page and go burn it,” said Kimberly Diaz, Lopez’s ex-wife.

The defense painted a timeline for jurors about Lopez’s struggles, dating back to when the defendant was a high school student in Mexico.

“They called me from the school office and asked me for a medical evaluation in order for him to be allowed back to school,” said Lopez’s mother, Benicia Saenz, who confirmed the evaluation required a psychological evaluation.

READ ALSO: Victims of deadly 2016 H-E-B shooting in Palmview take stand at trial  

Saenz explained her son was supposed to spend six months in a rehab center, but she took him out after 10 days after allegations that the center was mistreating patients. Saenz says she then took Lopez to another doctor, who diagnosed him with anger issues and as being antisocial. The doctor also recommended taking Lopez for further examination, but Saenz says never did because of financial difficulties.

Witnesses for the defense told jurors these traits re-surfaced again in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 28 shooting.

“He said that I wasn’t believing him, that I was probably already against him doing the same thing, collaborating with the government to be out to get him,” Diaz said.

READ ALSO: Trial underway for man accused in 2016 fatal shooting at H-E-B in Palmview  

Diaz recalled what Lopez told her when he showed up outside their home after the shooting.

“He would just tell me to go inside, that he was sorry that he couldn’t take it no more,” Diaz said. 

The trial continues Tuesday with the defense bringing forward an expert to testify as to Lopez's insanity plea.


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