Minnesota man out on bail accused of fatally shooting man during alleged road rage incident: Police

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Source: Hennepin County; MEGA

Sep. 8 2021, Published 8:21 p.m. ET

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A man who recently bailed out of jail allegedly shot and killed a driving during a road rage incident in Minnesota, police said.

On Aug. 29, Luis Damian Martinez Ortiz, 38, and 47-year-old George Howard got into a disagreement that started when both men were near an Intestate 94 on-ramp in Minneapolis, KSTP reported, citing a criminal complaint.

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Surveillance video of the incident allegedly shows Ortiz exiting his BMW and approaching Howard’s Volvo. Ortiz then collapses and Howard drives away. Ortiz, according to the footage, then gets back into his vehicle, drives a short distance and crashes.

Officers tracked down Howard’s vehicle at a gas station by getting his license plate number from the video. At the gas station, KSTP reported, Howard got out of his car and a passenger got into the driver’s seat and drove it away.

The passenger later claimed to investigators that Ortiz punched Howard, who then shot the victim. According to police, during questioning, Howard at first denied anything happened with Ortiz but, when confronted with the alleged video evidence, he claimed a third passenger shot at Ortiz from the Volvo’s back seat. Howard, however, could not provide officers with the purported shooter’s identity, police said.

Howard was placed under arrest and now faces a second-degree murder charge.

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At the time of the incident, Howard was out on $11,500 bail in connection to a domestic assault case and prohibited from carrying a weapon.

In the assault case, Howard’s bail was paid for by the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a non-profit organization that provides bail to people accused of crimes who are awaiting trial, and he was released on his own recognizance on Aug. 6.

“MFF believes that every individual who has been arrested by the law enforcement is innocent until proven guilty, and if a judge deems them eligible for bail, they should not have to wait in jail simply because they don’t have the same income or access to resources as others,” the group wrote, in part, in a statement obtained by Fox News.

In a follow-up tweet, the group wrote: “Under new leadership, MFF has implemented changes to its policies and procedures, and we will continue to assess them to ensure that we are being responsive to the safety and needs of our community.”

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