Leesburg murder suspect’s family helped lead police to him

LEESBURG, Fla. — The man accused of killing a Leesburg store clerk as he FaceTimed his wife pleaded not guilty Tuesday, as details emerged about how police tracked him down.


A court filing showed that Alex Lopez was identified by multiple sources, including Wildwood police and a corrections officer, based on their interactions with him.

However, multiple people, including a man claiming to be Lopez’s cousin, also called police to identify him as the shooter shortly after photos and videos of the murder were released.

One caller said she was friends with Lopez’s brother and identified him by the street name “Bobo.” She said the brother told her Lopez killed the clerk and he was in hiding when she asked why she hadn’t seen him in a while.

Read: Police arrest Central Florida man accused of killing Leesburg store owner

She also said Lopez had connections to MS-13.

Police did not explain how they managed to find Lopez at a Kissimmee motel nearly a month after he was accused of robbing and killing 51-year-old Raied Shihadeh, who was working the register at the M&M Food Mart on May 30.

Lopez faces four charges, including murder. Prosecutors have not yet said if they’ll go for the death penalty. Shihadeh’s wife has pushed for life in prison, explaining that she believed death was an easy way out of facing the consequences for her husband’s killing.

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