UPDATE: Homicide suspect in Albert Lea shooting arrested

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(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office said detectives received information that homicide suspect Ben Moreno was hiding at a rural Forest City, IA residence.

Detectives coordinated their efforts with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa and Moreno was arrested at about 1:00am, early Thursday morning, without incident.

Sheriff Kurt Freitag said as the investigation is ongoing, few details will be publicly available in the near future.

The investigation is rapidly expanding, he said, though the individual who traveled with Vasquez to Moreno’s house has only been questioned as a witness so far.

Freitag confirmed that there is a familial connection between Moreno, the suspect, and Juan Vasquez Jr., the victim.

Multiple criminal charges are forthcoming. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim in a Tuesday afternoon Albert Lea shooting.

Juan Vasquez Jr., 45, of Albert Lea, was shot and killed outside a home in rural Albert Lea.

(ABC 6 News) – A man was shot and killed outside a home Tuesday afternoon in rural Albert Lea.

Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said law enforcement is currently searching for the alleged shooter, identified as 32-year-old Ben Vidal Moreno.

Just before 3:30 p.m., the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 75400 block of 160th St., south of Albert Lea at about 3:30 p.m. for a report of a person who had been shot.

Freitag said Moreno was at the home when the victim showed up, that there was an altercation.

At some time, the victim and the other male who was with the victim got back in their SUV and began to leave the home.

When they turned from the driveway to continue west on 160 St, the SUV was struck with multiple rounds from a firearm. The SUV stopped and the victim got out and walked back to the house.

The driver of the SUV heard one more shot and seeing that the victim was not returning to the SUV, he got back in and drove from the scene. The victim was shot once in the chest and died as a result of the injuries.

Law enforcement made contact with that person not long after the shooting.

Moments after the shooting, Moreno got in a 2004 Ford F-150, MN license EUZ057 that was at the residence, and he drove away. His location is unknown.

Freeborn County deputies, Glenville first responders, and Mayo Ambulance responded to the scene. CPR and first aid were in progress when deputies arrived and paramedics soon pronounced the victim deceased.

Authorities believe there were strong negative feelings between Moreno and the victim, which led to the shooting. The Sheriff’s office said they don’t believe there’s a threat to the public.


The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and forensics team has been called in to assist with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Freeborn County Law Enforcement Center at 507.377.5200 ext 5 or 9

 ABC 6 News Now