Pedro Reyes-Lopez, Cockfighting/Murder Suspect, Was Also an Elementary School Crossing Guard

reyes-lopez.jpg
MCSO
Murder suspect, former school crossing guard, and two-time cockfighting arrestee Pedro Reyes-Lopez.
Pedro Reyes-Lopez, who was arrested by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office over the weekend for allegedly hosting a cockfighting party -- then rearrested on a first-degree murder charge Tuesday by Phoenix police -- may have also been known as your child's crossing guard.

ABC15 got the scoop, but a district official confirms to New Times that Reyes-Lopez, 43, was a crossing guard at Phoenix's Lowell Elementary School from 1998 until just a couple months ago.

Reyes-Lopez is suspected of murdering his estranged wife's boyfriend, and a witness who came forward to police in April 2011 said Reyes-Lopez had confessed to murdering Jose Gutierrez-Reyes over a "large load of drugs," according to court documents obtained by New Times.

"[Reyes-Lopez] told the witness that [Gutierrez-Reyes] had robbed him of a large load of drugs, and that his superiors had ordered him to send the victim to Mexico alive," court documents state. "He told the witness that he instead decided to kill the victim, and save him the pain of being tortured."

Both the sheriff's office and Phoenix police suspect Reyes-Lopez is an illegal immigrant, and this week's events haven't been his first run-ins with local law enforcement.

According to local news reports a few years ago, Phoenix police were at Reyes-Lopez' house on April 5, 2008, for a call about -- you guessed it -- cockfighting, at the same address Reyes-Lopez was arrested at over the weekend for allegedly holding a cockfighting soiree.

Reyes-Lopez was arrested on an animal-cruelty charge, but reportedly was not booked into jail due to a medical condition.

It's not clear what his immigration status was at the time, but court records show Reyes-Lopez got probation after pleading guilty to a reduced charge, and was discharged from probation in July 2010.

Gutierrez-Reyes' murder occurred two months later.

Phoenix police got the call about a shooting near 43rd and Grand avenues on the morning of September 4, 2010, as a witness told police she saw two pickup trucks side-by-side in front of her.

She said she saw a man hang out of one truck, fire at Gutierrez-Reyes -- who was driving the other truck -- and the truck driving the shooter left the scene while Gutierrez-Reyes' truck crashed into a building. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and his cause of death was determined to be a single gunshot wound to the head.

Just over seven months later, the witness came forward to police, saying Reyes-Lopez confessed to murdering Gutierrez-Reyes over the "large load of drugs."

When Phoenix police detectives interviewed him this week after the cockfighting arrest, Reyes-Lopez denied everything about the witness' story, but later admitted a few details about his relationship with his estranged wife and buying ammunition.

Reyes-Lopez still maintained he had no involvement in Gutierrez-Reyes' murder, and was arrested on the first-degree murder charge Tuesday, while he was still in custody.

Phoenix police Sergeant Trent Crump told New Times yesterday that Reyes-Lopez' arrest by the sheriff's office over the weekend "didn't jeopardize [the case] in any way," although homicide detectives were still trying to gather more information before his was arrested.

Reyes-Lopez' was hired by the school district well before all of these events, but he was still working with the school district for about nine months after the witness came forward to police.


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