Varnell Allen Charged with Second-degree Murder for Fatal Shooting


Varnell Allen was charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a man at Eighth Street and Hennepin Avenue, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.


Allen, 23, is listed as living in Columbia Heights, but his car registration and the place he was found was a home in South Minneapolis. He is charged in the death of 21-year-old Enzo Herrera Garcia of Apple Valley. Allen is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday and prosecutors will seek bail of $1 million.


According to the criminal complaint, two videos and the account of Herrera Garcia’s girlfriend revealed that at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, the couple was walking along Hennepin Avenue near Eighth Street when a silver vehicle, driven by Allen, pulled up next to them and the occupants yelled something out the window. Herrera Garcia yelled something back.


Allen stopped the car and he and his passenger got out of the car and Allen was holding a handgun. The two men started fighting with Herrera Garcia and Allen pistol whipped him and the sound of the gun hitting his skull was audible on the video, the complaint states.


During the assault, Allen dropped his gun, picked it up and fired one shot that struck the victim in the chest, according to the complaint. As the two men drove off, a witness recorded the license plate number.


The car’s registration led police to the 4500 block of Aldrich Avenue South. Police saw the car and watched it until Allen came out, got in the car, drove a few miles before he was stopped by officers and arrested, the complaint states.


Varnell Allen Criminal Complaint (PDF)