Murder, assault charges filed in Little Earth shooting


A Minneapolis man was charged with second-degree murder in the weekend shooting at the Little Earth community, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Juan Antonio Vasquez, Jr., 18, was charged in the murder of 19-year-old Alexander Lagarde of Chanhassen early Sunday morning. Vasquez also was charged with second-degree assault because a younger teenager near Lagarde suffered shrapnel-type wounds to his legs, face and head. In addition, he also was charged with possessing a gun after being adjudicated delinquent.

“This is an appalling act of violence, gunning down a young man who was trying to avoid Mr. Vasquez,” Freeman said. “The Little Earth community is rightfully upset and thanks to a quick and effective investigation by Minneapolis police, we intend to move forward with a vigorous prosecution of Mr. Vasquez in a court of law.”

According to the criminal complaint, a group of young people, including the two victims, were standing on the sidewalk near 2400 Ogema Place when Vasquez and another man walked up to the gathering. A high-quality surveillance video, and witnesses statements, indicated that Lagarde immediately went to a nearby home and tried to go in, but was unable to do so.

Meanwhile, Vasquez tried to exchange words with Lagarde. Then Vasquez walked up the steps, peered directly into Lagarde’s face, pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots at Lagarde, killing him and injuring the other teenager. Police found more than a dozen cartridge casings, the complaint states.

Vasquez and the other man immediately fled the scene. A warrant has been issued for his arrest and police are looking for him. 

Criminal complaint (PDF)