Search warrants: Austin shooting suspect allegedly attempted to sell Glock handgun; latest in 2nd-degree murder case

(ABC 6 News) – New Mower County search warrants place a firearm in the hands of a teenaged drive-by shooting suspect shortly before a man’s murder.

Now-19-year-old Jenup Chop allegedly attempted to sell a Glock 19 handgun online, using photos and videos of himself with the firearm, before a high-profile shooting in Austin.

Chop is one of three suspects in the drive-by shooting on June 9, 2023, which resulted in the death of 25-year-old Gumdel Nygare Gilo, of Austin.

RELATED: Austin community reacts to recent shootings – ABC 6 News –

In January of 2024, Austin police filed search warrants to access Chop’s social media, Apple, and iCloud accounts in order to discover any messages about the weapon.

From Mower County search warrants, public filed in January of 2024

Law enforcement is now seeking information that might indicate that a specific person committed the shooting, according to search warrants.

From Mower County search warrants, public filed in January of 2024

That information is of particular interest now that all three suspects in the shooting have been charged with aiding and abetting Gilo’s murder.

Previous reporting during the summer of 2023

Austin law enforcement issued arrest warrants for Cham Oman and Manamany Abella on June 10, 2023, after another man and woman who sustained non-fatal gunshot wounds told law enforcement they’d followed the two men in their own car, then Oman and Abella had pulled up alongside them and shot at the vehicle.

RELATED: One dead in drive-by shooting in Austin; Two suspects arrested – ABC 6 News –

Chop, then 18, was taken into custody June 14 after law enforcement allegedly learned he was in the car with Abella and Oman during the shooting.

Court documents alleged that Chop was “known to have” two ghost guns–one of which, a Glock, was allegedly seen in his waistband on the day of the shooting.

RELATED: Teenager arrested in connection with June 9 Austin shooting – ABC 6 News –

All three were initially charged with 2nd-degree murder–with intent, not premeditated; 2nd-degree murder–drive-by shooting; 2nd-degree attempted murder–with intent, not premeditated; 2nd-degree attempted murder–drive-by shooting; and drive-by shooting toward a person.

The latest in the shooting case–amended charges

In December of 2023, Mower County Court filed new criminal complaints for all three shooting suspects– accusing the suspects of aiding and abetting the shooting, rather than shooting at the victims directly.

All three now face charges of aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder–with intent, not premeditated; aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder–drive by shooting; two charges of aiding and abetting 2nd-degree attempted murder–drive-by shooting; and a charge of aiding and abetting drive-by shooting toward a person.

Cham Oman / Mower County Jail Roster

Chop and Oman are currently held in the Mower County Jail, but were briefly moved to Freeborn and Steele Counties, respectively, “for the safety and security of them selves and other inmates in the jail,” Sheriff Steve Sandvik said in June.

Manamany Abella / MN DOC

Abella was moved to MCF Oak Park Heights, where he remains.

The complaints also detailed social media and surveillance video allegedly showing an individual who may have been Chop with a handgun just before the shooting.

According to the updated criminal complaints, the living male victim told law enforcement he heard around 15 shots on June 9, but was seated behind Gilo in the car and had not seen the shooter.

The female victim allegedly told police she saw Abella shooting during initial statements, then said she believed it was Abella and Chop, as someone was “hanging from” the rear window.

A fourth victim on a motorcycle said someone from the car shot at him as he approached the scene. The man was not injured.

After turning himself in to law enforcement in June, Abella allegedly told them that Oman was driving, Chop was in the backseat, and he was in the front seat during the shooting.

Abella allegedly told law enforcement Chop told Oman to make a U-turn to pull up next to the victims’ car, and then shot from the backseat, according to court documents.

He also claimed Chop buried items related to the shooting at the base of a tree in Albert Lea — then contacted Abella a day later asking him to go pick up the gun. Abella allegedly refused.

In a recorded conversation with another Mower County inmate just after the shooting, Chop allegedly described hearing another suspect shoot the victims’ vehicle, according to court documents.
However, the updated criminal complaints allege that law enforcement found 9mm ammunition and a Sig Sauer ammunition holder matching spent casings found at the scene in Chop’s basement crawl space.

Runnings store footage allegedly showed Oman purchasing a Glock 9mm magazine with Chop shortly before the shooting as well.

That magazine, and a handgun allegedly seen in Chop’s social media posts, were located under the Albert Lea tree, according to court documents.

Concern over DNA testing

In July of 2023, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension requested permission to “consume” the DNA samples taken from bullets and casings found at the crime scene, as there was not enough evidence present to test them and leave additional material behind.

Abella and Oman’s defense attorneys filed an order to prevent the state from completing the tests unless they kept half of each sample, claiming the destruction of DNA evidence that could later be used to show either man was not guilty would violate the suspects’ rights.

In early January, Judge Kevin Siefkin denied the protective order, stating that half of a swab from a shell casing would not provide enough DNA for testing–and splitting them would functionally destroy the usable evidence without even granting the BCA a test result.

Additional evidence of fights with victims, aggravated sentencing motions

The prosecution filed a notice to introduce evidence that Oman had hit one of the non-fatal shooting victims with a bottle on June 3, resulting in the victim’s “associates” shooting at Oman and those with him at the party.

The state claims that evidence of the people involved in the shooting fighting with each other or challenging each other to fights is directly relevant to the shooting case.

The prosecution also filed notices of intention to include a previous 2020 case in which Abella and Chop were allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting. Abella was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm, while Chop was charged in juvenile court.

A May 2023 Instagram photo of Chop with a handgun will allegedly also be included in evidence, according to court documents.

From Jenup Chop’s court documents, Mower County

In early December, the prosecution also filed motions to seek aggravated, or a more lengthy sentences based on the suspects allegedly working together to perpetuate the shooting.

From Chop, Oman, and Abella’s court records, MCRO

Next court appearances

Abella’s scheduling conference is set for March 5. Oman’s conference is scheduled for March 13.

Chop has a motion hearing scheduled June 18, followed by a pretrial hearing June 28 and a trial July 8-19.