The 22-year-old Lincoln man who allegedly shot a 20-year-old gang rival to death early Sunday morning killed himself later that day, police said.
Hector Antonio Lopez appears to have shot himself in the head at about 3:45 Sunday afternoon in his mother’s trailer home during a standoff with the Lincoln Police Department’s SWAT team, Police Chief Jim Peschong said Monday.
Less than 13 hours earlier, Lopez burst into an apartment near 18th and G streets and shot Erick Porcallo Musito twice, in the chest and side, before fleeing, Peschong said.
Rescue crews took Musito to Bryan West, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Lopez and Musito were members of rival gangs and friends of two sisters who live in the apartment at 814 S. 18th St., where they ran into each other, Peschong said.
The shooting capped an argument that started earlier in the night, then escalated into a fight, Peschong said. Lopez left the apartment for a little bit before returning with a handgun.
He knocked, and at first, the sisters didn’t answer, Peschong said. Then he began hitting and kicking the door, so they decided to open up and tell him Musito left.
Lopez barged inside and started searching the apartment, Peschong said. He went into the bathroom, found Musito and fired a couple of shots before bolting.
Several witnesses identified Lopez as Musito’s killer, the chief said.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, investigators got word that Lopez was holed up at his mother’s home at 2545 Theresa St. and scrambled the department’s SWAT team to surround the place, Peschong said.
They hailed Lopez, but he didn’t respond.
A woman came out and told investigators Lopez said he had shot someone and that he was alone inside with a handgun, Peschong said.
Police tried to talk to Lopez again, he said.
At 3:45, Lopez fired several shots -- at least one at police -- and officers pumped gas into the trailer a couple of times but couldn't force him out, Peschong said.
At about 6 p.m., officers got a camera into the trailer and saw a person lying on the floor just inside the front door, Peschong said.
Police went in and found Lopez dead from a gunshot wound to the head.
A 5-year-old and two 1-year-olds were in the 18th Street apartment during the shooting, and authorities took them into protective custody and arrested the two sisters because they had warrants out for their arrest, according to police and court documents.
Lopez was wanted, as well. He was out of jail on bond for a June 2012 assault on a police officer while resisting arrest and failed to show for a court hearing last month.
Lopez was a member of the 18th Street gang, and Musito was a South Side Wino, Peschong said.
The two gangs had a long-festering rivalry that has turned violent at times, including a pair of shootings in February and April 2012.
In March 2011, Musito reported “he was jumped in an alley by 18th Street gang members due to his involvement with the South Side Winos,” according to an affidavit by a case worker from KVC Behavioral Healthcare.
“They’ve been shooting at each other for six years,” Peschong said Monday, adding that it’s fortunate no one has died until now.
He said he hopes any desire for revenge is mitigated by the fact that Musito's apparent shooter also died.
“You still may have some issues where someone thinks their gang got dissed,” the chief said.
Musito listed Lincoln addresses in several court documents, most recently an apartment at 3335 Portia St., but it is unknown whether he was in the United States legally.
Immigration and Custom Enforcement had no pending actions against Musito, spokesman Shawn Neudauer said Monday.
Repeated issues with alcohol use and run-ins with the law left him a state ward as a teenager, and he was sent to Cedars Home for Children and the Nebraska Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney.
Musito’s death is Lincoln’s fifth homicide in 2013. The city had four last year and has vacillated between three and seven each year for the past decade, police data shows.