Skip to main content

Charges: 21-year-old was pistol-whipped, then fatally shot in downtown fight

A 23-year-old man has been charged with murder.
Varnell Allen

A 21-year-old man was walking with his girlfriend along Hennepin Avenue when he became embroiled in a fight that ultimately led to his death.

Varnell Allen, 23, of Columbia Heights, has been charged with the 2nd-degree murder of Enzo Herrera Garcia, 21, of Apple Valley, who died in Hennepin County Medical Center after being shot Saturday evening.

Charges filed against Allen says that Garcia was walking along Hennepin Avenue near 8th Street, in Minneapolis' theater district, around 10:20 p.m. Saturday when a silver vehicle driven by Allen pulled up alongside them.

The occupants of the car yelled someone out of the window, with Herrera Garcia then yelling something back.

It's at that point Allen stopped the car, with both he and a passenger getting out, with Allen holding a handgun.

Allen and Herrera Garcia started fighting, with Allen at one point pistol whipping him.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says the sound of the gun hitting Garcia's skull was "audible" on one of two videos taken of the altercation.

Allen dropped the gun during the assault, before picking it up and firing one shot, which hit Herrera Garcia in the chest.

Allen and the passenger then drove off, with a witness noting the license plate number.

Police eventually caught up with Allen in the 4500 block of Aldrich Avenue South, following a few miles before stopping and arresting him.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Herrera Garcia was out with his longtime girlfriend, Vianca Gonzalez, at the time, with his family telling KARE 11 that he did nothing to deserve what happened to him, claiming Allen had been looking for a fight.

They also told the TV station the family had moved to Minnesota from Mexico when he was just 2 years old to escape violence, and that the 21-year-old was a graduated of Eastview High and worked at Napa Auto Parts in Apple Valley.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Garcia was from Golden Valley. He is actually from Apple Valley. We apologize for the error.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 9.31.03 AM

Old Navy closes Eagan store

There's another change in store for the popular Eagan strip mall.


London Michael Bean go fund me

Teen charged with fatal shooting of 12-year-old London Bean

A warrant has been issued for the 18-year-old's arrest.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Woman found fatally shot in downtown parking ramp

It happened on 9th Street South between LaSalle and Hennepin.

Antonio Richardson

Charges: Man shot dead in his St. Paul home was not the target

A 30-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Fight over a laptop leads to a murder charge in Minneapolis

A 28-year-old man is accused of killing an older man in a fight.

Cody "Loc" Pollard

Police say man who died on Father's Day was shot in Downtown, not Uptown

It means the Uptown shooting was not a fatal one, though 11 were injured.