Officer Morris Lopez, age 25, conducted his daily foot patrol in historic Ybor City, this was his beat. On July 9, 1949, Officer Lopez just finished contacting headquarters on the Ybor City call box.
Officer Lopez was standing at the corner of 7th Ave. and N. 16th St. when a blue Ford stopped nearby and a gunshot rang out. As the vehicle sped away, Officer Lopez dropped to the sidewalk and died from a gunshot wound to his upper chest.
A news report said four witnesses saw Officer Lopez gunned down that night in Ybor City. They advised he pushed a local paperboy out of danger as he was falling. The case remains unsolved.
The T.P.D. call box Officer Lopez used daily on his beat is currently on display in the Tampa Police Department Museum.