Springfield murder suspect, 3 others arrested; gun found in child’s room

Lee Manuel Rios arrested for murder of Kenneth Lopez

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An arrest has been made in the city’s eighth homicide of 2015, and police say a search of the suspect’s home led to the discovery of drugs, and a handgun stored in a child’s bedroom.

Police Sgt. John Delaney notified 22News that Lee Manuel Rios, 22, is being charged with the murder of 18 year-old Kenneth Lopez. Lopez’s body was found outside a home on Dwight Street in the North End on March 25.

Delaney says that Rios emerged as the suspect in Lopez’s murder, and police obtained a warrant for his arrest, as well as a search warrant for his apartment at 196 Nursery Street. A tactical response team was called in to ensure a safe entry into the apartment, and Rios was arrested shortly after 6:00 Thursday evening.

Upon further search of the apartment, Delaney says police discovered two loaded handguns, one of which was inside a child’s room. Additionally, police allegedly found 16 grams of cocaine packaged for sale, digital scales, packing materials, and marijuana packaged for sale.

Three other people who were inside the apartment, Nelson Rios, 23, Natalia Rivera, 21, and Maria Torres, 25, were also arrested on drug and gun charges.

In addition to the warrant for the murder charge, Lee Manuel Rios also had warrants for armed robbery with a firearm, carrying a firearm, firearm use in a felony, and possession of ammunition. He faces additional charges for the drugs and guns, including possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a high-capacity firearm, and improper storage of a high-capacity firearm with a minor.

Police booking photographs of Lee Manuel Rios and the other three suspects were not immediately available from Springfield police.

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