Four men have been accused in connection with a February gunfire outside a West Side St. Paul funeral parlor that killed one man and wounded four others.
David Nicholas Garcia, 40, of St. Paul, Jesus Hernandez, 21, of South St. Paul, Bryan Lara-Saavedra, 25, of Minneapolis, and Mario Alberto Vega, 30, of St. Paul are charged with felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. Garcia and Vega are also charged with two counts of having a weapon in the possession of an ineligible person.
Agustin Martinez, 28, of Crystal, was murdered in the gunfire on Feb. 21, which occurred as mourners gathered for Casanova Carter’s burial. Carter, 26, was tragically shot at his West Side residence on February 1st. According to authorities, he was a member of the Latin Kings group.
In a written statement released Wednesday, a representative for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said the charges brought last week against the four men are “at the greatest level imaginable that we believed could be maintained at trial given the information supplied to us by law enforcement.” “This is a live investigation that is still going on.”
Around 11:20 a.m., officers were dispatched to the shooting at Simple Traditions by Bradshaw Funeral Home, 488 Humboldt Ave. Martinez had been shot and was laying on the sidewalk. He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was declared dead after a single gunshot wound to the back.
Gunshot wounds to Lara-torso Saavedra’s and right leg. A number of other males inside the funeral home were sent to Regions Hospital with gunshot wounds.
Bullets impacted houses and cars in the neighborhood, and authorities discovered gunshot shells “all throughout the area,” according to the allegations.
A fistfight can be seen on surveillance camera on the sidewalk in front of the funeral home. According to the allegations, Martinez was part in the brawl but finally walked away out of camera view.
According to the allegations, Lara-Saavedra then pulled out a revolver and shot a 36-year-old male in the neck. When the pistol went off, people dispersed, some returning to the funeral home and others going in the same way as Martinez.
Garcia was allegedly spotted at the funeral home’s door shooting multiple rounds from a revolver at Martinez, according to the accusations. Garcia then proceeded to the mortuary.
Hernandez allegedly stood on the boulevard and fired shots in the direction Martinez and others had fled. According to the accusations, Vega exited the funeral home and shot in the same direction.
Despite being told that surveillance video shows otherwise, both Lara-Saavedra and Hernandez denied firing a gun when interviewed by investigators.
Garcia was apprehended on April 28 at a residence on the West Side, where authorities carried out a search warrant and discovered three guns. Garcia refused to make a statement to the investigators.
Hernandez, Lara-Saavedra, and Vega have all been handed arrest warrants.
In connection with Carter’s Feb. 1 murder, three individuals were charged in March with aiding and abetting second-degree deliberate murder.