Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that the Dakota County Grand Jury has indicted* Marcelino Santiago Lopez, age 19 of Inver Grove Heights, with one count each of Murder in the First Degree (Premeditation) and Murder in the Second Degree (Intentional), in connection with the fatal shooting on April 2, 2020, of 20-year-old Brandon Jose Nieves, of South St. Paul. Lopez was also indicted with Attempted Murder in the First Degree (Premeditation), Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (Intentional), and Assault in the First Degree (Great Bodily Harm), in connection with the non-fatal shooting of a 16-year-old male which occurred at the same time and location.
The facts and circumstances surrounding this incident are contained in the criminal complaint filed on April 3, 2020 initially charging Lopez in connection with this incident. This indictment will supersede the prior charges.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. Previous news release is available at County Attorney News Releases. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “Our sympathy is extended to family and friends of Brandon Nieves for their great loss, and we are thankful for the recovery of the 16-year-old Victim who was in critical condition and required emergency surgery after this incident to save his life."
Backstrom thanked the South St. Paul Police Department for their investigation of this case and the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, the West St. Paul Police Department, the Inver Grove Heights Police Department, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who assisted with the investigation.
Lopez is currently in custody in the Dakota County jail with bail in the amount of $1,500,000 without conditions ($1,000,000 with conditions) having previously been set following his initial charges. His first appearance on this indictment will take place next week in Hastings.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.
*An indictment is a criminal charge. Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.