Officials: Longmont Man Accused of Stabbing Brother Has Schizophrenia, Self-treating with Marijuana
A Longmont man accused of stabbing his brother to death suffered from schizophrenia and was using marijuana to self-medicate, according to newly released information from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
Daniel Lopez, 29, is expected to make his first appearance Wednesday in Boulder County District Court. He was arrested Monday on suspicion of first-degree murder, animal cruelty and three counts of felony menacing.
No bond has been set on his case.
Lopez was arrested around 11:30 a.m. on Monday near his home in the 300 block of S. Francis St. after a neighbor allegedly saw him stabbing his brother, Thomas “TJ” Lopez, 31, repeatedly. Thomas Lopez was taken to Longmont United Hospital, where he later died.
It’s not clear what exactly sparked the fight, but Longmont police said that the brothers were arguing over their dog, named Delilah, that had been stabbed earlier that day. Deputy Chief Jeff Satur confirmed Tuesday that Daniel Lopez stabbed the dog, which was later found in a city Dumpster on the Lopez’s lot.
Before he was taken to Boulder County Jail, Lopez was taken to UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital for a significant dog bite. Satur said it’s not yet known if Lopez stabbed the dog as a result of the bite or vice versa.
The stabbing was recorded by a security camera owned by Lopez’s cousin, who lives nearby, according to an arrest affidavit. In a police interview, the cousin said Lopez suffers from schizophrenia, a relatively uncommon mental disorder with symptoms that include hallucinations, delusions and difficulty focusing.
The cousin said Lopez was not taking his medications, but was trying to use marijuana to self-medicate. Police noticed the smell of marijuana on Lopez when he was arrested, according to the affidavit.
A neighbor told police he went to the Lopezes’ home to talk with Thomas Lopez and noticed blood splattered on the porch. Daniel Lopez answered the door and said his brother was not there, according to an arrest affidavit.
While walking away, the witness told police he heard Thomas Lopez scream and turned to see Daniel Lopez chasing him out of their home with a large “combat knife.”
According to what the witness told police, Daniel Lopez stabbed his brother repeatedly while they ran. When they both fell, Lopez continued to stab his brother. Two neighbors came out of their home and tried to stop him.
Lopez stood up and walked away from the scene, after swinging the knife once at the witness who called police. He did not get far from the scene and was arrested shortly after police arrived.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, email@example.com