Aurora man savored ‘up close, personal’ murder of homeless woman

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AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora man who killed a wheelchair-bound homeless woman in April told police he savored the experience, according to a report.

The disturbing comments Shawn Lopez, 21, made to police two days after the murder of 67-year-old Francine Reade were released by the Aurora Sentinel Thursday. Lopez is accused of stabbing Reade to death on April 25 a few minutes after meeting her.

“I like knives,” Lopez reportedly told detectives. “Just because it takes a real crazy, sadistic (expletive) to walk up to somebody and just stab them. Because you’re up close and personal. And you know that you’re the last face that person is ever going to see in their pathetic little life.”

Those comments were part of the arrest affidavit filed against Lopez’s roommate 20-year-old roommate Michael Snyder, who is being charged as an accessory to murder. Though he did not appear to know it had been used in a murder, investigators say Snyder helped Lopez bleach the switchblade that was used to kill Reade.

Lopez allegedly murdered Reade shortly after an argument that ended with him storming out of the house he shared with Snyder and two other roommates. Snyder said Lopez was last seen wandering down the street, screaming at no one in particular.

Investigators believe Lopez met Reade several hours later. Lopez said he pushed Reade’s wheelchair behind a grocery store, telling her “don’t worry about it” when she asked where they were going.

Once they were behind the store, Lopez told detectives he decided to kill and rob Reade. He proceeded to stab her in the neck and steal the loose change she had on her person. Lopez later used that change to purchase chewing tobacco at a nearby convenience store.

Lopez was arrested the following day after one of his roommates called a police tip line. That roommate told detectives Lopez admitted to the murder.

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