Second suspect pleads guilty in Dec. shootoutPublished 11:31am Friday, February 1, 2013
The second of three suspects in a December shootout changed his plea to guilty Thursday in Mower County Court.
Reynaldo Veraza, 35, of Austin, pleaded guilty to second-degree riot with a dangerous weapon, a felony. Charges for drive-by shooting and second-degree assault, both felonies, were dismissed. He will be sentenced on April 12.
Reynaldo’s brother, Raymundo Veraza, 34, of Austin, recently pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and second-degree assault, both felonies. His sentencing in this case is set for March 21. Felony charges for first-degree riot and drive-by shooting have been dismissed.
Fidel Molina, 31, of Austin, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felon convicted of a crime of violence.
Officers went to the 700 block of 11th Street Northeast at 4 p.m. Dec. 3 after a call about gunshots. Police also received a call at 4:45 p.m. from Reynaldo, who said he was shot in the chest. He was later treated and is OK.
The Verazas originally told police Molina was the aggressor and shot out the back window of Reynaldo’s SUV after a fight in the street.
Yet Molina claimed Reynaldo and his brother, Raymundo, were the aggressors. He said the Verazas drove separate vehicles by Molina’s house, parked across the street and argued with the man in the street. Molina claims Raymundo drew a gun, so he yelled to his friend in the street before he and that man ran behind the house. Molina and that man reported hearing gunshots. According to the court complaint, Molina admitted to grabbing a .22-caliber rifle and returning fire, which struck Reynaldo’s SUV and hit Reynaldo in the chest.
Detectives found .22-caliber and 9 mm shell casings at the scene. According to the court complaint, gunfire from Raymundo went through Molina’s house and lodged into a neighbor’s house, too.
A witness nearby also saw men standing by the SUVs and arguing before one raised his arm and fired shots. The witness said someone returned fire from near the house, as well.