A 23-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in Hennepin County in the fatal shooting of an Apple Valley man in Minneapolis.
Varnell David Allen, 23, is charged in connection with the Sept. 28 death of 21-year-old Enzo Herrera Garcia of Apple Valley. Allen is listed as living in Columbia Heights, but his car registration and the place he was found was a home in south Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Allen was scheduled to make his first court appearance Oct. 2 and prosecutors were seeking bail of $1 million.
Minneapolis officers were dispatched to the corner of Eighth Street South and Hennepin Avenue for a shooting at 10:21 p.m. Sept. 28. Upon arrival, officers found a man, later identified as Herrera Garcia, lying on the street with a woman attending to him. The woman was identified as Herrera Garcia’s girlfriend.
Herrera Garcia was bleeding profusely from his head and mouth and had a gunshot wound to his torso. A live round and discharged cartridge casing were found near Herrera Garcia’s body. Herrera was not breathing and had no pulse, according to the criminal complaint.
He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died at 10:48 p.m. from a gunshot wound to the chest, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said in a news release. The manner of death was listed as homicide.
An account from Herrera Garcia’s girlfriend and footage from a city camera and a personal cell phone indicate that the couple was walking in the area of Hennepin Avenue and Eighth Street. A silver vehicle pulled over at the intersection and the occupants allegedly yelled something. Herrera Garcia yelled something back. The car’s passenger and the driver, Allen, allegedly exited the car holding a handgun, court documents said.
Allen and the other man began fighting with Herrera Garcia. Allen allegedly pistol-whipped Herrera Garcia and the sound of the gun hitting his skull was audible on the video, prosecutors said.
Allen allegedly dropped his gun during the assault, picked it up and fired once, striking Herrera Garcia in the chest. The two men drove off and a witness recorded the license plate number, the complaint states.
From the car’s registration, police went to the 4500 block of Aldrich Avenue South. Officers watched the car until Allen came out and drove the car for a few miles before he was stopped and arrested by officers, according to the complaint.
Allen initially denied any involvement in the shooting, but later allegedly admitted to police that he and his cousin got into an altercation with the victim and his girlfriend. According to the complaint, he said he exited his car with a handgun, pistol-whipped the victim, dropped the gun during the fight, retrieved it and fired a shot that killed Herrera Garcia.