Man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Connecticut woman in Holyoke


Staff Writer

Published: 07-30-2022 2:44 PM

HOLYOKE — Police have arrested a 37-year-old man on the charge of murder in the shooting death of a Connecticut mother of four. 

On Saturday, July 23, police officers were dispatched to 35 North Summer St. in Holyoke at 12:05 a.m. for a possible domestic altercation, according to Holyoke Police. When police arrived, they found a woman with a gunshot wound, who died from her injuries. 

Police on Saturday identified the woman as 36-year-old Desiree Rivera López. 

Immediately following the call, detectives from Holyoke Police and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office began an exhaustive investigation into López’s death and arrested 37-year-old Pablo Rivera-Ortiz. 

He was arraigned in Holyoke District Court on Monday, July 25.

No additional information about the circumstances that led to López’s death are available as police said the investigation is still ongoing. 

In addition to detectives from Holyoke Police and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden district attorney's office, the Hampden district attorney’s office’s Murder Unit is also investigating. 

On Thursday, Holyoke-based social services agency that works to reduce or prevent domestic violence, Alianza, formerly known as Womanshelter/Compañerasa, offered condolences to López’s family and friends via a Facebook post. 

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

“We are extremely angered and saddened to hear of the domestic-violence related death of Desiree López,” the post read. 

López, according to her obituary, was a resident of New Haven, Connecticut and native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. The mother of four children, she was described as having a “heart of gold and a soul that was just as beautiful as she was” and considered everyone who was part of her life to be a part of her family. 

“Her death has impacted us forever. All we are left with are memories of Desiree; the times we laughed together, cried together, and most importantly partied together,” the obituary reads. “Our hearts are broken beyond repair, but with the strength and love of God Himself, we will heal as one.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser to help with funeral expenses has been organized by Yahaira Valentin, who shared on the site that she has known López since she was 17 years old. 

“Everyone who knew Desiree loved her for her smile and the way she made everyone around her laugh,”  Valentin wrote. “She was a wonderful mother; she loved her children more than anything else. We have suffered a significant loss. Desiree doesn't have much family; we don't have help to lay her to rest.”

Friends and relatives will be received by López’s family on Sunday, July 31 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Washington Memorial Funeral Home, 4 Washington Ave., North Haven, Connecticut. 

A prayer service will take place during visitation time and her burial will be private.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at]]>