St. Paul woman faces murder charges in shooting of 17-year-old boy

A St. Paul woman is in custody and faces two counts of 2nd-degree murder for the alleged shooting of a 17-year-old male last Thursday.

Court records show Vanessa Sanchez Lopez, 18, faces one count of 2nd-degree murder – with intent (not premeditated) and one count of 2nd-degree murder – drive-by shooting.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased as 17-year-old Manuel Ernesto Bernal Jurado.

According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 2, 2023, officers with the Eden Prairie Police Department witnessed a speeding vehicle that would not stop for law enforcement. As police chased the vehicle, it continued into Edina, stopping at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

Police say they located the victim inside the vehicle’s front passenger seat with a gunshot wound to the head. Police learned that Lopez was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting, the complaint notes.

Court records say the victim was Lopez’s boyfriend, and on the evening of Feb. 1, they picked up two others and went to a movie. The complaint notes the victim and defendant “had been arguing throughout the night.”

After the movie, the four traveled to Chanhassen to the home of another friend. A firearm belonging to the victim was in the vehicle, and while driving, both the victim and Lopez shot the gun out the window, the complaint alleges.

When they arrived at the residence in Chanhassen, all occupants exited the vehicle but got back in due to the cold weather that night. Then, Lopez allegedly pointed the gun at Jurado and shot him in the head at close range.

One witness claims Lopez didn’t want to drive Jurado to the hospital because she didn’t want to go to prison.

According to the complaint, investigators found camera audio from a neighboring house where the shooting occurred, in which shortly after the shooting, you can hear a male voice say, “you shot him in the face” twice.

Lopez is due in court for her first appearance in court Tuesday.