Documents: Loaded pistol found in suspect’s room

By Kevin Baird
CNJ staff writer

Police found a loaded gun in the hotel room of a man involved in a six-hour standoff Friday at the Westward Ho Hotel, according to court documents.

Patrick Lopez, 31, of Clovis surrendered peacefully early Saturday morning but not before hiding in a crawl space above several rooms at the hotel while police tried to use gas to force him to surrender.

He was wanted on two outstanding warrants at the time of his capture Saturday.Gun Found

Lopez is being held at the Curry County jail with an $80,000 cash only bond.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found a .45 caliber Springfield Amour handgun, with a one bullet in the chamber and full magazine. New Mexico law prohibits Lopez, a felon, from carrying a firearm.

According to the criminal complaint:

• The Clovis Police Department was notified about 7 p.m. by a bail bondsman that Lopez was in room 31 of the hotel.

• Two police officers were sent to make contact with Lopez. One officer went to the door, while the other officer saw Lopez trying to jump out of a window on the east side of the hotel.

• The officer asked Lopez to show his hands, but Lopez left the window and game back wielding a hammer. Since Lopez refused to follow CPD’s commands the SWAT team was called.

• One CPD officer said he heard banging coming from Lopez’ hotel room and thought he was trying to escape through the wall.

• The SWAT team breached room 31 and gassed the room, but Lopez was gone. The SWAT team did find a hole in the ceiling of the bathroom.

• Lopez moved through a crawl space above the ceiling to get into room 29, where he used a chair to barricade the door.

• The SWAT team gassed room 29 and Lopez retreated back into the crawl space. An officer entered the crawl space where Lopez surrendered.

• CPD also found a nine gram bag of methamphetamine, two 9mm magazines with no handgun to match them, body armor, and a homemade bong.

• Lopez’ female companion, who was with Lopez in room 31, said Lopez told her he would shoot if the police shot at him.

Lopez was charged with three felonies in connection with the stand off:

• Possession of a controlled substance

• Possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon

• Criminal damage to property, over $1,000.

Lopez’ charges in connection to his two outstanding warrants were:

• Aggravated driving while impaired/intoxicated by liquor or drugs

• Concealing identity