Soccer coach, teammates remembers 15-year-old shot and killed in Pembroke Pines home
Richard Jobson, the executive director of the Miramar United Elite Soccer Club, couldn’t believe what he heard when he picked up the phone over the weekend.
He learned that one of his players, 15-year-old Achilles Lopez, was killed in what police are calling an accidental shooting.
“I had the pleasure of coaching him one year where he was the captain of my team. He wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the biggest, but he had the biggest heart,” Jobson said.
Pembroke Pines police said it was late Saturday night when the teen was shot at his home inside the Coconut Reef subdivision. Detectives said the teenager wasn’t responsible and that the accidental shot was fired by a relative. Neighbors told Local 10 News that woman is Lopez’s stepmother.
Jobson told Local 10 News he’s known Lopez since he was 7-years-old and that he was respected, admired, and loved by his teammates who are now struggling with his sudden death
“They can’t understand why this happened, how this happened and we can’t explain it,” Jobson said.
Diego Suarez is one of the many soccer teammates in mourning over Lopez’s tragic death.
“They gave us a bracelet which has the number six on it, which is the number that he wore,” said Suarez. “The last thing I told him was I love you bro.”
Lopez was being visited at the time of the shooting by a friend, Carlos Santos.
He told Local 10 News in Spanish that the gun was on the table, and he saw Lopez’s stepmother remove the bullets before jokingly pointing the gun at him, the family dog and Lopez.
Santos said that made him uncomfortable, so he stepped outside.
Moments later is when Santos said he heard a gunshot and saw that Lopez had been shot in his chest.
Austin Diaz, a neighbor said, that the dad started yelling that “she killed his son. He was just in shock.”
While police say negligence and mishandling are to blame for the gun going off, it is the community and those who knew him best who are now doing what they can to support Lopez’s family during this difficult time.
“We can’t hug Achilles anymore, can’t shake his hand anymore, but we are here for the family they were there for us.” Jobson said.
The Miramar United Elite Soccer Club provided grief counselors at Sunset Community Park on Monday evening.
As for Pembroke Pines police, they say once its investigation is complete they will turn their findings over to the state attorney’s office who will then determine if charges need to be filed.