A father brought his two children to their mother’s birthday celebration in a Maple Grove apartment and was fatally shot by her boyfriend in the midst of an argument, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
Rodney D. Velho was charged in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree intentional murder in connection with the killing Sunday night at an apartment in the 11800 block of N. 80th Avenue.
Velho was arrested at the scene and remains jailed before a Wednesday afternoon court appearance.
The 31-year-old victim’s identity has yet to be disclosed. The two children and another woman in the residence at the time were not physically injured.
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers responding to the shooting found the father dead on the kitchen floor from two gunshots to the chest and another to his abdomen.
The woman in the apartment said the victim is the father of her two children, has custody and brought them there for a scheduled supervised visit.
Before the father and the children arrived, Velho and the woman were there drinking to celebrate her birthday.
The woman told officers that “the victim was unarmed, [and Velho] had no reason to shoot him,” the complaint said.
Velho was arrested outside the building, and he admitted shooting the other man and regretted not walking away when the two started arguing. The officers detected an odor of alcohol.
A gun was recovered by police from on top of the fire sprinkler pipes in the building stairwell.
Velho’s criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for drinking alcohol in public, drunken driving and other traffic violations.