An 18-year-old Dickinson man was arrested by the Dickinson Police Department Monday afternoon, marking the second arrest in connection with the fatal shooting of a male juvenile in Dickinson this past weekend.
After several interviews with multiple witnesses, detectives arrested Jesus Torres on suspicion of tampering with physical evidence. Torres allegedly assisted in discarding a firearm that was used in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Jose A. Morales, who died from a gunshot wound at a residence early Saturday morning.
After DPD detectives recovered the firearm Monday, Torres was placed under arrest and transported to the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center, where he awaits a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The 16-year-old arrested by DPD Saturday morning for negligent homicide remains in custody at the Youth Correctional Center in Mandan. The detention hearing for his case has been rescheduled to Wednesday afternoon.
Officers responded to St. Alexius Hospital at 1 a.m. Saturday, March 13, regarding a report of a male juvenile suffering a gunshot wound to his torso, according to a DPD press release. The male was dropped off at the hospital by friends. Medical personnel attempted all life-saving measures to revive the subject, but the male was “declared deceased a short time later,” the press release states.
The victim and the suspect were known to one another.
“Investigators were called out and began interviewing witnesses in the early morning hours. The incident was believed to have occurred at a residence in east Dickinson. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and evidence of the shooting was gathered,” the DPD press release noted.
Lt. Mike Hanel said to The Press Monday that it took a few hours after they arrived at the hospital to investigate before making the arrest.
"The investigators, through the interviews with the witnesses and as well as the physical evidence that they processed at the scene, they were able to piece what we believe is the most accurate version of events up until this point. So based on the information that our investigators had, they felt that an arrest was appropriate and that level of offense was most appropriate for the circumstances," Hanel said.
Dickinson Public Schools released a statement Monday to Dickinson high school families, detailing the loss of one of its students.
"As a school, we are doing everything we can to support all students and staff. Our hearts are grieving. We know this event will profoundly affect everyone who knew this young man, but we also know that every student at Dickinson High School will be touched in some way by this news," the DPS statement addressed.
Investigators are continuing to look at the case, Hanel said, adding that there are some timeline concerns that they are still working through.
If anyone has information regarding this incident, the public is urged to contact the DPD at 701-456-7759. To leave an anonymous tip, use the Badlands Crimestoppers app or visit the Crimestoppers website at dickinsonpd.com/crimestoppers.
A GoFundMe page was created in memoriam of Morales and to help his family during this devastating time. Morales leaves behind his parents, an older brother and four younger sisters. To view the tribute fundraiser for Morales, visit gofund.me/61038dcf.