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Dalton man found shot dead in vehicle on I-75 early Sunday morning in Catoosa County

Updated: Mar 3

According to Sheriff Gary R. Sisk, on Sunday, March 1st, 2020, at 2:55, the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office and Ringgold Police Department responded to a call of an individual in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head on I-75 southbound south of exit 348. Upon arrival, the deputy found the driver deceased with a gunshot wound to the head. The driver was later identified as being Noel Lopez. (35), of 979 Twin Springs Road SE, Dalton, GA. There were two females in the vehicle at the time of the incident, Lopez's wife and a female friend. These three individuals had gone to a bar together in Chattanooga around 11:00 PM, where they consumed alcohol for several hours. Statements obtained from the occupants indicates there was a mutually physical domestic argument going on between Noel Lopez and his wife in the front seat while they were traveling down the Interstate. A gun became involved, and it discharged striking Mr. Lopez in the head. The vehicle came to rest in the middle of Interstate 75 southbound. Sheriff Sisk says the body of Noel Lopez has been sent to the GBI’s crime lab for an autopsy, and several pieces of evidence are being submitted for forensic processing to determine the facts of the incident. Interstate 75 southbound was closed for approximately two and a half hours while the scene was processed by the Sheriff Office crime scene processor. No charges have been filed in the case yet. Catoosa County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Tim Busby or Captain Chris Lyons with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at (706) 935-2424.