By Mike Hazlip—
More than a year after a Citrus Heights man was killed in an exchange of gunfire, the 20-year-old’s father last month appeared on ABC10’s “To The Point” show with two other men who also lost their sons in shootings.
Nathan Lopez told the news outlet his son, Jacob Lopez, was “a young man with a bright future.” Lopez joined Herman Garrett and Billy Ray Scott in the Oct. 26 episode to share the pain of losing their sons to violence.
At the time of the shooting, Jacob Lopez had a fiance, a four-month-old son, and a two-year-old son, his father said. The children were home at their Birdcage Apartments unit and witnessed the shooting, he said.
The Sentinel previously reported that Lopez died in a May 23, 2022, shooting that also left another 20-year-old man, later identified as Tony Diaz, in critical condition. At the time, Citrus Heights police said the crime was “not a random act” and that both men “likely knew each other,” something that Nathan Lopez disputed in a Nov. 23, 2022 Fox40 report.
Lopez was a rising star in the hip-hop scene, known by his rap name “Lul Tys.” His manager, AG Cubano, told YouTube entertainment channel Innovators that before his death Lopez had signed a six-figure contract with Empire records, calling it “the biggest deal ever for a Northern California Latino rapper.”
At least ten of Lul Tys music videos on YouTube have topped one million views apiece, including his 2020 song Straight Bars, which has over 6 million views. Known Norteno gang symbols and colors can be seen in several of his music videos, along with scenes of him holding handguns, cash, and cars doing burnouts.
In a 2021 interview on Innovators, Lopez talked about his childhood, saying “as a kid I always said I wanted to be the next Eminem.”
The Sentinel previously reported that Citrus Heights police arrived at the Birdcage Village apartments after receiving multiple 911 calls of shots fired around 10:55 p.m. on May 23. Upon arrival, officers found a 20-year-old man in a walkway of the apartment complex who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police then found another 20-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds inside an apartment, who was later identified as Lopez.
The first man was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, while Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses reported hearing a “burst of gunfire.”
Murder charges in Lopez’ death were never filed, Fox40 reported. Diaz pled “no contest” to felony possession of a machine gun and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and two years probation, but a Sacramento District Attorney spokesperson told Fox40 there was not enough evidence to charge him with homicide, according to the report.
In last month’s interview on ABC 10, Lopez’ father and the others interviewed underlined the importance of being protectors and the role of positive mentors in the lives of their children.
“Naturally, as fathers, we consider ourselves protectors, right?” Lopez told ABC10. “Whether it be now, whether we had anything to do directly with the death or not, we still felt we should have been there to take that bullet and we would take it a million times. That’s something that’s built into us as fathers.”
Lopez, who said youth violence has increased since he was young, also advocates for better mental health treatment and more positive role models for young men.
“It’s going to take the mental health and the politicians to really look at this and listen to us,” he said. “When we say that, we need to get some more mentoring groups, more youth groups, get people involved in these young people’s lives because if not, nothing’s going to change.”
Both of Lopez’ parents have continued to call for justice in the case of their son’s death, saying the District Attorney’s office should press murder charges.
By Mike Hazlip—
More than a year after a Citrus Heights man was killed in an exchange of gunfire, the 20-year-old’s father last month appeared on ABC10’s "To The Point" show with two other men who also lost their sons in shootings...
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