The family of the woman who was shot and killed near a Del Valle church Wednesday afternoon said it was her ex-boyfriend who kidnapped her at gunpoint before shooting her in front of deputies.
Ibeth Lopez, 26, was a single mother who lived in Elgin with her 8-year-old daughter, family members said Thursday.
“She was a hard-working single mom,” Lopez’s sister-in-law Crystal Jaramillo told the American-Statesman. “She always did her best for her daughter. She will be terribly missed.”
Lopez had worked at a Manor day care center, Creative World Learning Center, as a teacher of toddlers for about two years before she left about a month ago to take a job at the Bastrop barbershop where she was kidnapped Wednesday, said her previous boss, Sherry Johnson.
Kara Holcomb, who used to bring her daughter to Creative World Learning Center, said Lopez was her daughter’s favorite teacher.
“She was so full of life, so kind-hearted and genuinely just a nice person,” Holcomb said.
After the pair broke up two years ago, Lopez’s ex-boyfriend showed up multiple times at her workplace and her home unannounced, Jaramillo said.
“He kept harassing her. … He didn’t want to leave her alone,” she said.
According to Jaramillo, Lopez had previously contacted Bastrop and Manor police to make a complaint against him, but officers told her he had to be “caught in the act.”
Lopez’s sister created a GoFundMe page that she said will raise money for Lopez’s memorial service and will support Lopez’s daughter.
The Statesman isn’t naming Lopez’s ex-boyfriend until the Travis County sheriff’s office confirms whether he’s the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting. A criminal background check shows that the man Jaramillo identified as Lopez’s ex-boyfriend has at least two DWIs in his record and was convicted of evading arrest in Travis County.
On Wednesday at 12:28 p.m., that man posted a video of himself on Facebook listening to a song while he holds a handgun in his car. Less than 20 minutes later, he posted a photo of himself against a blue sky with the caption “no more pain.”
Authorities say they learned around 1:30 p.m. that a man had gone into the Sport Clips barbershop, on Agnes Street in Bastrop, where Lopez worked. He asked her to leave with him, and she initially resisted, said Kristen Dark, Travis County sheriff’s spokeswoman. However, Lopez went with him after he pulled out a gun.
The two drove west along Texas 71 before they got stuck in traffic, Dark said. He pulled into a church parking lot at Burch Drive, not far from Ross Road, and the two of them started walking.
Two Travis County deputies, who were escorting a group of high school students holding an immigration protest on Texas 71, noticed the pair. The deputies approached the pair, and when the man noticed them, he pulled his gun and shot Lopez, Dark said.
The man then shot himself in the head, Dark said. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and at press time Thursday, the man was still hospitalized.
When the man pulled his gun, at least one of the deputies fired at him, Dark said. When asked Thursday if the deputies’ bullets hit him, she said that’s part of the ongoing investigation.
Staff Writer Mary Huber contributed to this report.