DA drops charges against two men in shooting case

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Mike DuPre'
February 16, 2008
— Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary dropped charges Friday against two young men accused of involvement in the downtown Janesville shooting of another Janesville man Jan. 19.

But O’Leary said he might reinstate the charges against Michael A. Lopez and Brennan T. Lowman pending completion of the ongoing investigation.

Lowman, 17, of 1808 S. Osborne, and Lopez, 18, of 1731 S. Marion St., were both charged with party to endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm and party to first-degree reckless endangerment involving a weapon.

What the investigation still has not made clear, O’Leary said, is whether Lowman and Lopez knew that two of their four companions were armed with pistols when they went to the YMCA parking lot at River and Dodge streets at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, to confront another group of young men.

Several shots were fired.

One shot wounded an 18-year-old member of the second group in the leg. He was treated and released at Mercy Hospital in Janesville.

Police identified Lowman, Lopez and their four companions as members of a street gang. Police have not identified the victim or other members of the second group as gang members.

“There is a continuing investigation into what the knowledge of individuals was going into the fight,” O’Leary said.

Investigators have executed search warrants on the cell phones of several of the individuals involved to discover what they were saying to each other in text messages before the fight.

“We don’t know yet is what the communication was because we have not yet seen the text messages,” O’Leary said.

He is awaiting police review of the cell phone records.

The dismissal of charges against Lowman and Lopez came two days after two of the other teens in the case were charged in adult court.

Andrew D. Moronez, 16, of 1042 Center Ave., Janesville, and Gregory P. Krukar, 16, of 230 N. Grant St., Janesville, are both charged with three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment involving a weapon and one count each of endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person younger than 18.

Moronez and Krukar have preliminary hearings scheduled for Tuesday.

The criminal complaints against Krukar and Moronez charge them with being the triggermen in the incident.

Police confiscated a .357-caliber Magnum revolver and black and gold baseball cap bearing a five-point star when they executed a search warrant at Krukar’s home, according to the criminal complaints.

In addition, two 15-year-olds were referred to juvenile authorities on charges of party to endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.

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