A 30-year employee of the Ellenville school district in upstate New York, fatally shot his longtime domestic partner and a man she was dating, then took his own life, the village police chief said Thursday.
55-year-old Efrain Lopez, [left], killed Margarita Soto and Jose Cruz, both age 55, about 9:55 a.m. Thursday outside the Canal Lock apartments at 110 Center St., Chief Philip Mattracion said during an afternoon press conference.
Lopez then killed himself, the chief said.
According to police, Lopez who also was a current member of the Ellenville Village Board, got out of the black sedan he was driving and Cruz got of the small red car he was driving, and Lopez shot Cruz with a 30-30 lever-action rifle. Lopez then shot Margarita Soto through the passenger-side window of her new boyfriend’s car before turning the rifle on himself, the chief said.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police activity at the scene of Thursday’s double-murder and suicide on Center Street in Ellenville, NY
The chief said Lopez and Soto had been longtime partners and that Soto started dating Cruz recently, a fact that he said didn’t sit well with Lopez.
Mattracion said village police had no reports of domestic problems involving any of the three but that his department was checking with other agencies in the area about reports that might have been filed with them.
The chief, who also is president of the Ellenville Board of Education, said Lopez, a janitor, worked for the school district for 30 years.
Ellenville schools were placed in lockdown after the shootings because police initially believed a suspect was at large, Mattracion said. The lockdown was lifted about 11 a.m. after it became clear the shooter was among the dead.