ELLENVILLE, N.Y. — An Ellenville village trustee followed his long-time domestic partner and her boyfriend into an apartment complex parking lot Thursday morning, and shot and killed the pair before turning a rifle on himself, village police said.
Efrain Lopez, 55 of Ellenville, allegedly got out of his car, confronted then killed 55-year-old Jose Cruz as the men got out of their cars, then walked to the passenger side of Cruz's car, shooting and killing 55-year-old Margarita Soto. Lopez then went back to his car and fatally shot himself, police said.
Lopez, who was a 30-year member of the Ellenville Central School District as a maintenance worker, didn't leave a note or any other indication of his plans, Ellenville Police Chief Phillip Mattracion said.
During a press conference, Mattracion said he was shocked when he heard what had transpired, having known Lopez for three decades.
“It is a tragedy of just unproprotional magnitudes. I cannot even explain how I feel at this point," he said. “I just can’t fathom how such … He was just a very nice guy. No words.”
The Canal Lock Apartments, where the shooting happened, are just a few blocks away from the Ellenville High School, middle school and elementary school. The close proximity forced the district to put all three schools into a lockdown as police investigated, but it was lifted a short time later.
Mattracion said the investigation is ongoing.