Teen charged in shooting that paralyzed Mpls girlby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — A 19-year-old woman with suspected gang ties has admitted driving the car involved in a drive-by shooting that seriously wounded a 12-year-old Minneapolis girl last fall.
The Hennepin County Attorney's office Tuesday charged Casey Walters, 19, with two felonies in conjunction with the shooting. In the complaint, Walters is described as having a neck tattoo that signified ties with the Sureno 13 gang. She also admitted dating a man police believed to be a member of the gang.
According to the criminal complaint, Walters admited she drove the car involved in the shooting. Witnesses said a young Hispanic male in the car appeared through the sunroof and fired a single shot at a group of people on the sidewalk.
County Attorney Mike Freeman says the man shouted a gang-related remark before he fired.
"This apparently was a crime committed between two known street gangs -- Surenos 13 and the Vatos Locos. Why this particular young woman was shot, and why this group of people were shot at, we don't know," he said.
According to the complaint, Walters had three young men riding in her car on the night of the shooting. After it took place, the others in the car asked the shooter why he had done it. He responded that the group of people were his "enemies."
Freeman said he doesn't think Walters had prior knowledge that one of the men in her car that night was going to shoot at someone, but added, "it doesn't matter."
"If you're driving people around, whether you know what they're going do or not and they pull out a gun and starting shooting people, you're guilty -- if we can prove it -- of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting. That's what the law is, and that's why we charged it."
Freeman said Walters is cooperating with the investigation, but has not revealed the name of the man who fired the gun.
The bullet hit Guadalupe Hernandez, 12, in the neck and lodged itself into her spine. She is still hospitalized and is unable to walk.
Minneapolis police Lt. Mike Fossum said Walters was arrested last Friday at the Hennepin County court branch in Edina. Fossum said Walters was in court for a minor traffic offense and police were waiting for her there. He said Walters had recently moved from Crystal to Lowell, Indiana to live with her mother.