A young gunman locked his eyes on his intended target standing among others on a south Minneapolis sidewalk, drew a handgun from his waistband and squeezed off a dozen or more shots before disappearing into the darkness, according to charges filed Wednesday.
Juan A. Vasquez Jr., 18, of Minneapolis, now stands charged with second-degree murder in connection with the killing early Sunday of Alexander M. LaGarde, 19, in the 2400 block of Ogema Place, situated in the Little Earth of United Tribes community.
Authorities have yet to locate Vasquez and have charged him by warrant, explaining in the criminal complaint that he has ties to several counties outside the metro area and in North Dakota.
Vasquez is “a significant risk to public safety and [a] flight risk,” the charging document read.
LaGarde’s death prompted an expression of exasperation from community leadership.
“The violence and the guns need to cease,” read a statement signed by Little Earth Housing Corporation President Mary LaGarde-Agnew, an aunt of LaGarde’s, and Little Earth Residents Association President Jolene Jones. “We as residents are fed up with it and fed up with losing our loved ones.”
According to the complaint:
With the help of surveillance video, police saw that LaGarde, visiting from Chanhassen, was with others on the sidewalk outside a residence shortly after midnight, when Vasquez and another male walked toward them. LaGarde soon tried to go in a home but was thwarted.
Vasquez started talking to LaGarde and then “peered directly at his face,” the charges read. Vasquez took the gun from his waistband, “pointed the gun directly at [LaGarde] and shot [him] multiple times.”
A 14-year-old boy standing next to LaGarde was hit by shrapnel and suffered minor injuries.
Vasquez ran from the scene with the other male who was with him.
Investigators recovered more than a dozen cartridge casings from the scene.
Vasquez also was charged in this complaint with illegal possession of a firearm stemming from an October 2016 first-degree burglary conviction.