Suspect in Central Falls Shooting Has Prior Murder-Related Charge


RHODE ISLAND - Police report that 39-year-old Luis Lopez staked out TrueStylez barber shop in Central Falls for over an hour on Saturday night.

According to Capt. Craig Viens of the Central Falls Police Department, Lopez had targeted 29-year-old Emanuel Torres Plaza, who was leaving work around 9:30 p.m.

"It was learned that Lopez and Plaza do have a relationship and are known to each other,” Viens stated.

Authorities suspect Lopez accused his girlfriend of being involved with Torres Plaza.

Court records indicate that she refuted the allegations and had even sought a restraining order against Lopez after he made threats to both her and Torres Plaza just days prior to the shooting.

"Central Falls Police Department responded to the area of Dexter Street and Sumner Avenue for the report of a shooting. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a victim with multiple gunshot wounds, that victim was identified as Emanuel Torres Plaza,” Viens reported.

Lopez fled the scene and drove to Plainville, where he allegedly set his car ablaze.

He was intercepted by police as he headed towards North Attleboro, and he denied any connection to the fully engulfed vehicle.

Officers detected the smell of gasoline on him, and his clothing showed signs of partial burning. Witnesses identified Lopez, leading to his apprehension.

Lopez had recently been released from prison on a separate charge related to murder.

In 2013, he was taken into custody for driving the getaway car in the 2007 death of a 29-year-old man from Foxborough.

Currently, Lopez is held in Massachusetts and is scheduled for transfer to Rhode Island, where he will face a range of charges, including first-degree murder.