A Las Vegas father of seven was killed on his way to work when he was carjacked by a heavily armed man who was being chased by cops for gunning down his own mother.
Gerardo “Jerry” Lopez-Martinez, 39, had just left home at about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday when he was stopped by gunman Justin Davidson, 36, who’d already killed his mom and swiped a squad car after firing at responding cops, according to authorities.
“The guy just walked up shot my husband and threw him out of the vehicle,” Lopez-Martinez’s wife of 13 years, Karen Lopez, told KVVU.
The killer then “ran him over and took our vehicle,” she said.
Four officers saw Davidson shoot the dad and push him out of the vehicle, running him over as he fled despite being hit multiple times, police said.
The gunman — who’d also carjacked another vehicle in the terrifying spree — was later found dead in Lopez-Martinez’s stolen vehicle, police said.
He was wearing camouflage clothing and a tactical vest and investigators found a notebook “with a diagram of a potential ambush situation indicating he was prepared for an armed confrontation with law enforcement,” police said.
“At two residences associated with Davidson, investigators found tactical equipment, prepper supplies, numerous military manuals, and documents regarding police responses to mass casualty incidents.”
Lopez said her husband was excited to get to work as a driver for a medical linen supply company as he had recently been promoted. He likely pulled over because he saw police pursuing the killer.
She collapsed when told what had happened to the man who “always made me feel loved.”
“My stepdad had to catch me because I just collapsed in the middle of the road kind of passed out because I couldn’t handle it, it didn’t seem real,” she said.
The loss is also too much for their seven adopted kids, especially their eldest, an 11-year-old son.
“Last night he kept texting my husband’s phone and he said, ‘I know daddy isn’t going to answer but I hope daddy can still read the messages and know I love him,’” the widow told KVVU.
“We were supposed to grow old together and raise them together.”
The deadly rampage began after Davidson fired a rifle behind his parents’ home, police said.
“As his parents approached the wash area, Davidson began shooting toward them, killing his mother,” cops said. “His father retreated to his vehicle and Davidson shot at the fleeing truck.”
When police arrived, the gunman began firing at them from a hidden location, shot out the windows of a patrol car and took off in it, according to investigators.
Davidson soon bailed from the police car and carjacked a truck full of people at gunpoint without harming them, police said.
He drove the truck to a gas station and tried to carjack a motorist who was pumping gas, fleeing when cops caught up and opened fire.
He then cornered Lopez-Martinez and shot him dead with a long rifle, police said.
Among the weapons used by Davidson was an assault rifle with an erased serial number stolen from a Las Vegas gun show, authorities said.
Clark County Assistant Sheriff Yasenia Yatomi provided photos of evidence collected by investigators that suggests he could have been planning for a large-scale attack.
The evidence included a notebook with a hand-drawn diagram “of a potential ambush situation,” a stockpile of items that could be used to build firearm silencers and explosive devices, and documents outlining how police respond “to mass casualty incidents.”
“We do not know if the suspect was attempting to build an improvised explosive device,” Yatomi told reporters. “With the materials we found in his homes, we do not know why the suspect started shooting.”
Davidson, who was wearing camouflage clothing and a tactical vest during the rampage, had a lengthy criminal history dating to 2009, including arrests on drug and weapons charges, she said.
Yatomi said investigators searched the desert area where Davidson started firing off shots.
They found loaded magazines of various calibers in multiple locations, but authorities don’t yet know if the ammo was left behind when the police chase began or if he had been hiding them there for some time.
Police have more locations to search as part of the probe, but for now, Yatomi said: “We’ve painted a picture and I’ve showed you evidence of a story that should be very disturbing.”
A GoFundMe page for the family has raised more than $388,000 as of Tuesday morning.
With Post Wires