MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Earlier this month, an Uber driver was heading back to Stillwater shortly after bar close when he thought he saw a dead animal in the road near the Mississippi River.
But as he got closer, he realized he was wrong. It was a woman lying in a pool of blood. She screamed that she’d been shot.
Court documents filed in Washington County say that the driver wrapped the woman in a blanket, put her into the back of his car and drove until he got enough signal to call 911.
After being hospitalized for days, the woman, who is 39 and from St. Paul, told investigators what happened to her.
She said that he’d been abducted on June 8 by 32-year-old Angel Sardina-Padilla (aka Diablo) and 25-year-old Luis Mendoza, both of whom she described as members of the Surenos 13 gang.
Sardina-Padilla and Mendoza are both charged with aiding and abetting kidnapping and attempted murder, court documents show.
Mendoza is in custody while Sardina-Padilla remains on the loose. However, a warrant is out for his arrest.
According to a criminal complaint, Sardina-Padilla and Mendoza kidnapped the woman from her home after demanding the payment for a gun. After threatening to make her hold a metal tool they’d made scalding-hot over an open flame, the men put her in a car and drove around the Twin Cities for hours.
Eventually, Sardina-Padilla got out of the car. In an interview with police, Mendoza said that the older man commanded him to shoot and kill the woman and gave him a gun to do so.
The woman told police that Mendoza, who was clearly following Sardina-Padilla’s lead throughout the abduction, drove her around the metro for several more hours. She added that she fell asleep in the car because her captors had forced her to take a pill which made her drowsy.
When she woke up on the early morning hours of June 9, it was pitch black out and Mendoza commanded her to get out of the car. She did as she was told, and Mendoza pointed the gun at her and fired three shots.
Only one bullet found her body, hitting her right chest and exiting through her back. Mendoza immediately got in his car and sped off. He was arrested a week later.
When speaking with police, Mendoza told investigators that he drove the woman to the Stillwater area and shot her, the complaint states. He said that he feared he’d be shot himself if he didn’t follow the command to kill her.
If convicted of the charges, Sardina-Padilla faces life in prison and Mendoza faces several decades behind bars.