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Remembering Cpl. Hunter Lopez: Local tributes honor Coachella Valley Marine

The valley community continues to mourn Cpl. Hunter Lopez as the outpouring of support continues to grow for the U.S. Marine from Indio who was killed in last week's bombing in Afghanistan.

Monday, Lopez's parents spoke out for the first time publicly since the deadly attack in Kabul, calling this one of the most challenging times in their lives.

In a statement, Herman and Alicia Lopez wrote in part, "Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and condolences we’ve received in the wake of Hunter’s sudden passing...

Please know that Hunter wore the United States Marine uniform with love and pride, and it is very apparent that the community will never forget his sacrifice and our family.”

In Palm Desert Monday at the sheriff's station, a memorial was put up honoring Cpl. Lopez. Both of his parents are long-time law enforcement officers with the sheriff's department. 

In the Lopez family's home city of Indio, Mayor Elaine Holmes paid tribute at the top of Monday's city council meeting. 

"He so selflessly gave his life in the service of his country to help others," Holmes said.

Outside city hall, the flags were flown at half staff and a memorial was put up honoring the 22-year-old Marine, placed beneath an Afghan pine tree. 

Indio Marine Andy Nord said he previously served overseas. He stopped by the tribute to pay his respects. "Any time a marine's lost, it's always a little tough," Nord said. "It hits home, so it's nice to have a little setup for him... I was once right there with everyone and now, I still feel it whenever we lose someone."

The community is invited to leave tributes and pay respects at the memorial at Indio City Hall. It's expected to remain until Sept. 11.

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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