On probation from 2011 murder case, Mpls. man charged in new homicide

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • March 11, 2014 - 2:25 PM

A 20-year-old man who was complicit in a north Minneapolis murder three years ago is now charged with fatally shooting an unarmed man in the chest who had been arguing with his stepfather in a North Side home.

Dashaunta D. Gomez, of Minneapolis, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a gun in the death of 32-year-old Johnathon J. Harris, of Minneapolis. Gomez remains jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

Charged earlier in the shooting in the 2000 block of Hillside Avenue was Gomez’s stepfather, Demiteras A. Cooper, 37, of Minneapolis. Cooper was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

According to the complaint against Gomez:

In the hours leading up to the killing, Cooper, Harris and another man went to a bar. Cooper and the unnamed man left, then argued and came to blows about leaving Harris behind.

Cooper drove to the home on Hillside with the man he had argued with and dropped off the man. Harris later found his way to the home.

Within a half-hour, Cooper returned to the home with Gomez. Cooper resumed his argument with the unnamed man, with numerous witnesses in the home.

Harris suspected Gomez was armed and started to pat him down. Gomez pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Harris twice in the chest from a distance of 2 to 3 feet. Harris was left on the couch bleeding from his chest.

Cooper and Gomez drove away before police arrived. Cooper was arrested that afternoon near a “distinctive” vehicle that matched the description of the one he had been driving at the time of the shooting.

Gomez was arrested and booked into jail last Wednesday.

Gomez was charged with murder in 2012, but he was only convicted of first-degree riot in connection with the north Minneapolis shooting death of 18-year-old Keontrell Govan in May 2011. Gomez was sentenced to three years’ probation. A guilty plea to second-degree murder was made by the man with Gomez who shot Govan as the victim stood near a bus stop.

Cooper’s criminal history includes convictions in Hennepin County for terroristic threats, drunken driving, fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct.


Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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