By: Homicide Survivors
The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer.
On November 1, 2017, at approximately 12:20 a.m., the Tucson Police Department received a 911 call about a suspicious vehicle parked in the 1000 block of West Colorado Street (near St. Mary’s & Grande). The vehicle had been parked in the roadway for about an hour with the headlights on and the engine running. Officers found 43-year old Jose Ramon Lopez in the front passenger seat with obvious signs of gunshot trauma. He was pronounced deceased on scene. This is an unsolved case, anyone with information is asked to call 88-crime. You can remain anonymous.
Jose’s Daughter, Anita Lopez, and Sister, Zulma Cisocmnai are Homicide Survivors. Zulma is a caregiver, mentor for drug and sexual abuse victims, and an assistant Chaplain at the Pima County jail. Anita is a single mom of two children, Veronica and Julian “Juju,” and loves spending time with family.
Anita remembers going to Mexico on vacation with her dad in 2017 and that was one of her favorite memories. “I would see him almost everyday, he did all my tattoos. That was the last time I saw him, when I got my last tattoo from him. I have all of his drawings, one of them being: “My wings were ready but your heart wasn’t” in his hand writing.
A month before [the homicide], Zulma’s last memory with Jose was listening to music with him. She remembers him playing a song and crying. “I asked him, ‘where did the song take you?’ It was a really beautiful moment because he had rededicated himself to the Lord while he was incarcerated and he had peace within him. We sang, we laughed, we cried and we prayed. That is my last memory of him.”
“Jose had a rough childhood. He was in and out of juvie as a kid. His childhood and having an abusive father affected him a lot. Despite that, he always had a passion to do good, but he never felt like he was truly accepted. He liked to draw and liked tattoos. He was a protector and if he knew that someone did something to harm us, he never wanted us to hurt at all.
He was very funny and goofy – there was never a dull moment with him. His laugh and smile lit up a room; everybody loved him. His tattoo clients always became his friends. He had a sweet tooth (cereal and chocolate were his favorite) and he was infatuated with aliens.”
Zulma and Anita have been involved with Homicide Survivors since day one – November 2017. While HSI provides a variety of support groups for Homicide Victims, not everyone griefs the same. During the healing process, Anita says, “Support groups on Tuesdays, taking the grandkids to the child support groups and events like Cookies with Santa and the Angel Tree,” have helped her the most.
Zulma says, “being connected with other people who are going through the same thing reminds me that I am not alone. Yeah, my brother is gone but he brought us all together.” Zulma also shares that Zumba and being active has helped her on her journey to heal.
If you have any information about the case you are asked to call 88-crime. You can remain anonymous.
Every year, families in our community are shattered by the loss of a loved one to homicide. Please consider joining us this Arizona Gives Day and donating to our cause. Your contribution will ensure we continue to provide services to Survivors, such as advocacy, support and assistance.