SPRINGVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Police say a 23-year-old man fired a shotgun at his mother as the family sat down for dinner Wednesday — the second time in just over a week that a parent has been shot and killed in Springville.
Police say 23-year-old Michael Lopez is accused of killing his mother, Victoria Ramirez, last night. Two younger sisters were also in the house, and one of them told police she witnessed the shooting.
“You just don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors,” said Lt. Warren Foster with Springville Police.
“You don’t know what people are feeling. You don’t know what kind of pressure people are under, either being out of work or maybe even being sick with the illness. What it’s doing to families. What it’s doing financially to families, what kind of feelings are going on between moms and dads and brothers and sisters and all the stress of the holidays,” added Foster.
The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition reports a nearly 50 percent increase in demand for services since the pandemic started.
“We’ve also seen, unfortunately, an increase in domestic violence deaths involving a firearm.”Liz Sollis, spokesperson for Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.
Sollis says as domestic violence has increased during this pandemic, so too has the need for individual rooms in hotels or motels. That’s because grouping together in a shelter setting is less than ideal as COVID-19 cases continue to persist.
“So, we have people requesting shelter in greater numbers, and then the amount of time they need to stay in the shelter has increased. Which could be tied to employment or financial issues. So those lengths of stay are a concern,” added Sollis.
What happened in Springville — coupled with the shooting death of Roger Goslin during an argument with his daughter and her friend just over a week ago — are the worst outcomes. Sollis says many people think of domestic violence exclusively as a problem with live-in partners. But, she says, it can involve children or other family members — and also couples who date, even if they don’t live together.
The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition has a free, 24/7 hotline if you or someone you know needs help: 1-800-897-LINK (5465).