Man faces attempted-murder charges in West St. Paul drive-by shooting


Jorge Roman Vasquez

Complaint: Victim had affair with suspect's girlfriend

A St. Paul man is facing four felony charges in a West St. Paul drive-by shooting for "intentionally" firing at a man who reportedly had an affair with the shooter's girlfriend, according to court documents filed in Dakota County District Court this week.

Jorge Roman Vasquez, 35, was charged with first-degree attempted murder and second-degree attempted murder in what police say was a premeditated drive-by shooting. He also faces two felonies for second-degree assault and allegedly possessing a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime.

Vasquez was released from prison March 24, 2014 on supervised release, after being sentenced in 2011 for first-degree aggravated robbery, the criminal complaint said.

Shots fired at group

At about 2 p.m. Aug. 18, West St. Paul police officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots fired at an apartment complex along the 300 block of Marie Avenue East in West St. Paul. The suspect reportedly fled in a green car, according to the complaint.

Officers found a man who had been shot in the right arm and right leg. Medics treated him, and then transported him to Regions Hospital.

According to West St. Paul police Lt. Brian Sturgeon, the victim, a 35-year-old West St. Paul man, has been released from the hospital.

Six spent shell casings were found in the garage where the victim was hanging out with friends when a green four-door car with a spoiler on the back pulled up in front of the garage and the driver began shooting.

One of the friends said he thought Vasquez "intentionally" targeted the victim who "had been involved with the shooter's girlfriend," according to the complaint. 

Helping them identify the suspect and his girlfriend's address, investigators found out Vasquez had owned one of the friend's vehicles, although it was registered to an alias, Jose Cruz Sanchez, the complaint said.

Affair a factor

Police went to the girlfriend's apartment, where several children assisted police in gaining entry to the complex and identified Vasquez as their father. Vasquez reportedly was found in a bedroom with the girlfriend. 

Executing a search warrant at the woman's residence, police found a silver handgun and bullets, both matching ammunition found at the scene and descriptions of the weapon from witness accounts.

The girlfriend reportedly told police she had a "sexual relationship" with the shooting victim about  two years ago. According to the complaint, she said within the last month Vasquez was told by a friend that she and the victim had been involved in a relationship. 

The victim identified Vasquez as the shooter in a photo lineup, the complaint said. The victim said he had an affair with Vasquez's girlfriend in 2011, the same year Vasquez starting serving his sentence for the robbery.

According to court records, Vasquez's other past convictions in Minnesota include a DWI, careless driving and speeding.

Vasquez made his initial appearance in court Thursday, Aug. 21; his bail was set at $600,000 without conditions and $400,000 with conditions. He's scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 16.

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7815 and kroby@lillienews.com. Follow her at twitter.com/KRobyNews.

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