A St. Paul teenager was drunk when she shot her 17-year-old boyfriend in the head last week with his gun as they sat in a car parked outside a home in Chanhassen, according to murder charges filed Monday.
Vanessa Sanchez Lopez, 18, was charged in Carver County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the wounding Thursday of Manuel Bernal Jurado of South St. Paul, who was dead by the time friends raced him to an Edina hospital in the middle of the night.
Sanchez Lopez was arrested on the day of the shooting in a home's driveway in the 700 block of Conestoga Trail and was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Court records do not list an attorney for her.
She told law enforcement afterward that she didn't know the gun was loaded, the charges read.
According to the criminal complaint and search warrant affidavits filed to collect Sanchez Lopez's DNA and other evidence:
Eden Prairie police pursued a speeding car that was carrying a wounded Jurado and others. Police put down "stop sticks" on the pavement on Hwy. 62 in Edina, but the driver continued with a deflated front tire until reaching M Fairview Southdale Hospital.
Sanchez Lopez and one other person got out of the car, and officers saw Jurado's body in the front passenger seat. They soon learned he had been shot in Chanhassen.
Jurado was shot while in the car by Sanchez Lopez, who was in the driver's seat. Three other people were also in the car at the time. Officers recovered a semiautomatic handgun from the vehicle, police said.
Sanchez Lopez was given a preliminary breath test that morning at the hospital, and it registered 0.13%, more than 1½ times the legal limit for someone 21 or older to drive.
That previous evening, Sanchez Lopez and Jurado went to a movie, then picked up two friends before driving around to various suburbs and eventually to a home in Chanhassen, where another friend lived. On the way there, a 19-year-old woman in the car told law enforcement, Jurado and Sanchez Lopez both fired the gun out the window.
While in the car for barely a minute in the driveway of the home where the boyfriend of the 19-year-old woman lived, Jurado told Sanchez Lopez that she could hold the gun, and he warned her that it held one bullet. Sanchez Lopez then put the gun to Jurado's head and shot him.
"'I don't want to call the police, I don't want to go to prison,'" the 19-year-old recalled Sanchez Lopez saying, the affidavit read. Sanchez Lopez got out of the driver's seat, and the 19-year-old's boyfriend drove Jurado to the hospital.
The 19-year-old said Jurado and Sanchez Lopez "had been arguing all through the night," the charges read. At one point, Jurado threatened to shoot Sanchez Lopez, and she dared him to do it.
A 15-year-old who was in the car at the time said Sanchez Lopez "thought [Jurado] was cheating on her," according to the charges.
Under questioning by law enforcement, Sanchez Lopez initially said she wasn't in the car when her boyfriend was shot. Then she said she was dancing around in the car and the gun went off as she held it.
Ultimately, she said she pointed the gun at Jurado not believing it was loaded and "intentionally pulled the trigger," the charges read. She denied ever having an argument throughout their entire relationship.
Many people went to Facebook to mourn Jurado's death, including the 19-year-old woman who was in the car when the fatal shot was fired.
"I'd never would [have] thought I'd experience a death like this," she wrote. "There are so many things I wish I could've of done at that very moment for you. all I wanted was for you to live a lil longer."