3rd person charged in drive-by shooting that killed 1, injured 2

Published 1:33 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

A third person was charged Friday in Mower County District Court in last week’s drive-by shooting in Austin that killed one person and injured two others.

Jenup Chop

Jenup Stepen Chop, 18, faces one count of second-degree murder with intent, one count of second-degree murder in a drive-by shooting, two counts of attempted murder in a drive-by shooting and one count of dangerous weapons-drive-by shooting toward a person.

District Court Judge Natalie Martinez set Chop’s unconditional bail at $1 million with conditional bail at $750,000.

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Court documents state during the investigation into the shooting, law enforcement learned that Chop had been in the Durango with Manamany Omot Abella, 23, and Cham Obang Oman, 28, at the time of the shooting. Abella and Oman were charged on Monday with the same charges Chop faces.

The court complaint stated Chop was known to have two ghost guns that he had built and that on the afternoon prior to the shooting, he was seen with a black ghost gun in his waistband.

Law enforcement also learned that Oman was upset with one of the victims who was injured because he was involved with the mother of Oman’s child and that the two men had fought the weekend before. Chop was also upset with the victim who was killed because he had reportedly stolen or cheated the defendant out of some fentanyl pills.

Court documents state Chop contacted an inmate in the Mower County jail on Sunday and reportedly admitted he was in the Durango with the two men before, during and after the shooting, explaining what had taken place.

He reportedly stated that before the shooting, he, Oman and Abella went to 711 Second St. NW, and when they arrived, he got out of the vehicle and saw the man who was killed walking up to the house.

The man told Chop he might as well “shoot the fade right now,” but Chop told him he didn’t want to fight at that location. After they got back into the vehicle, they made a U-turn, Oman pulled up alongside the other victims’ vehicle and he started hearing “pop pop.” He said he saw the victim swerve before he hit a house.

He told Oman and Abella he wanted to get out of the vehicle but Oman told him they would be wanted by police and needed to leave. They then drove south toward Iowa.

On Sunday, the Lino Lakes Police Department notified law enforcement they had found the Durango in a hotel parking lot, and the vehicle was towed to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension garage in St. Paul. While conducting a search warrant, authorities found Oman’s wallet, multiple documents belonging to Oman and two spent Sig Sauer 9mm shell casings.

In a search of Chop’s house on Tuesday, police found 9mm ammunition and a Sig Sauer ammunition holder in a basement crawl space.

Police also learned that on the day of the shooting, Chop and Oman had gone to Runnings in Austin and purchased a handgun magazine. A third man, believed to be Abella, remained in the vehicle. Store footage and records showed Oman and Chop in the store and showed Oman paying for a Glock 9mm 23-round magazine magazine with cash.

On Wednesday, Freeborn County law enforcement notified Austin police they had recovered a handgun magazine, glove and sanitizer tip near a tree in the city of Albert Lea. The magazine was the same type purchased by Oman and was believed to have been used in the shooting.

Security footage from a city building across the street from where the magazine was located showed the Durango pull up to the location where the magazine was found at 11:45 p.m. June 9.

Three people exited the vehicle and walked across the street. Chop was later seen bending down near the tree and setting something down.

Chop was arrested on Wednesday as he was leaving a residence with an adult female.

He is next slated to appear in court June 29.