MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Marcelino Santiago Lopez, 19, has been indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and first-degree assault charges after allegedly shooting two people earlier this year in South St. Paul.
South St. Paul Police responded to a report of gunshots being fired at about 1:30 p.m. April 2. They responded to the 1600 block of North Concord Street, and located two victims in the street suffering from traumatic wounds.
Brandon Jose Nieves, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head. A 16-year-old boy from Georgia was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest. The boy’s injuries were non-fatal.
“Our sympathy is extended to family and friends of Brandon Nieves for their great loss, and we are thankful for the recovery of the 16-year-old Victim who was in critical condition and required emergency surgery after this incident to save his life,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said Friday afternoon.
While officers were interviewing witnesses, Lopez contacted the Dakota Communications Center and informed them that he had just shot two people. West St. Paul Police responded to his location and took him into custody.
He was then transported to the South St. Paul Police Department where law enforcement says he admitted that he had gone to the location where the victims were with the intention of fighting. Lopez indicated he had arranged to fight one of them on social media because one of the victims was currently involved in a romantic relationship with his ex-girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint.
Lopez, of Inver Grove Heights, claimed he arrived to fight one of the victims and then he started to drive away. He admitted that when he saw multiple people getting out of the car behind him, he stopped the car, grabbed his shotgun and shot two people before getting back in the car and leaving the scene. Lopez also admitted that he had threatened to kill one of the victims on social media several times before meeting up with him to fight.
Lopez is currently in custody at the Dakota County Jail on $1.5 million bond without conditions.
He is set to appear in court on the indictment next week in Hastings.