An argument over money led a Hutchinson man to shoot and kill a Little Falls man early Monday morning at a Little Falls home, according to the criminal complaint filed charging the suspect, Jason Ray Dominguez, with felony second-degree intentional murder.
Dominguez, 36, Hutchinson, was arraigned on the charge Wednesday in Morrison County District Court. Dominguez is accused of shooting Dustin J. Brown, 30, seven times early Monday morning at a residence at 600 Lindbergh Dr. N. in Little Falls.
A provisional autopsy report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office shows Brown suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the right side of his forehead as well as gunshot wounds in each leg, an arm, his chest, his jaw and in his back.
Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers said he anticipated the Morrison County Attorney’s office calling a grand jury to consider an indictment of first-degree murder against Dominguez.
Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf said the investigation has moved swiftly and as a result he is waiting for reports from several different law enforcement agencies before proceeding.
“Once I receive those reports I will certainly consider the issue of calling a grand jury,” Middendorf said in an email response.
Officers with the Little Falls Police Department and the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department responded to Brown’s residence at 3:52 a.m. Monday after receiving a report of shots fired at the residence.
Outside the residence, officers found a small fire under a porch, which police said was started as an apparent attempt to destroy the crime scene. Inside the residence officers located Brown lying next to a bed. He was transported to St. Gabriel’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Dominguez was arrested Monday afternoon at his Hutchinson home by agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and officers with the Hutchinson Police Department.
Brown and Dominguez had both recently been released from prison, Brown on July 28 on a conviction for felony third-degree assault in Washington County and Dominguez on Aug. 3 on a conviction for felony possession of a pistol/assault weapon with a past conviction for a violent crime in McLeod County. Both were on supervised release.
On Wednesday Schirmers said it was his assumption that Brown and Dominguez were acquaintances from prison though he couldn’t say definitively.
Money appeared to be the motive behind the murder, Schirmers said.
“That’s how we’re looking at it,” Schirmers said. The investigation is ongoing, he added, and additional criminal charges in the case are possible.
Schirmers credited the work of law enforcement and information relayed by neighbors and other witnesses in the case to the quick arrest of Dominguez.
That information, he said, helped police inform the public that there was no threat to the community at large.
“I know it’s hard for people to understand that it was a targeted crime because it was such a horrible act,” Schirmers said. “
According to the criminal complaint filed against Dominguez:
• Neighbors of Brown reported a one-armed man, identified as Dominguez, had been looking for Brown the past three weeks. Brown’s brother told police that a guy from Hutchinson had been pressuring Brown to do something drug-related that Brown didn’t want to do. Witness also said Brown owed Dominguez money.
• After executing a search warrant and arresting Dominguez at his Hutchinson residence, Dominguez said he, his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s three children traveled Sunday to Little Falls “to go visit a friend.” They arrived in Little Falls between 10-11 p.m. and after first going to the wrong residence they found Brown’s house and met with him.
• Dominguez’s girlfriend also spoke with law enforcement. She said while in Little Falls at Brown’s residence Dominguez and Brown began to argue about money. The girlfriend took her children out to the car and Dominguez joined them later. Then they all traveled back to Hutchinson. Back in Hutchinson, Dominguez got a .380 semi-automatic pistol and Dominguez and the girlfriend drove back to Little Falls.
• In Little Falls, Dominguez had his girlfriend drop him off on the east side of Lindbergh Drive. The girlfriend then drove around the area. A few minutes later Dominguez called her and told her to pick him up. Dominguez told his girlfriend “I shot him seven times,” and showed her seven shell casings. The girlfriend noted Dominguez was covered in blood. Dominguez and his girlfriend then drove into the country and threw the shell casings into a farm field.
• Dominguez and his girlfriend then drove to Rice and purchased bleach. They went to a car wash and washed the car and Dominguez’s clothes. The car wash’s video surveillance system recorded them in the car wash. They also threw a hat and a purse into a trash receptacle behind the car wash. Those items were recovered by law enforcement.
• As they traveled on Highway 15 south toward Hutchinson, Dominguez’s clothes and shoes were thrown from the vehicle. His shoes were recovered by law enforcement.
• Once in Hutchinson, Dominguez told his girlfriend they had to get rid of the gun. They bought a shovel, went to an area southeast of Hutchinson and buried the gun. The girlfriend took law enforcement to where the gun was buried and it was recovered, along with the shovel used to bury it.
Dominguez is being held in the Morrison County Jail.
Assisting in the investigation is the BCA; the Hutchinson Police Department; Morrison, Benton and Stearns county sheriff’s departments; the Central Minnesota Drug Task Force; the Minnesota Department of Corrections; and the State Patrol.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.