Update: Police identify victim in Albert Lea murder; suspect still at large

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a murder suspect in a shooting in Albert Lea Tuesday afternoon.

Juan Vasquez, Jr, 45, of Albert Lea was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting on 160th St.

Deputies were called the home just before 3:30 p.m. for a report of a man who had been shot with a firearm.  Vasquez was pronounced dead at the scene after life-saving efforts by emergency responders.

The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Ben Vidal Moreno.  Police say Moreno and Vasquez were known to each and the two men had “issues between” them.

Investigators say Moreno was at the home when Vasquez and another man went to the residence.  When they left the home, the vehicle was struck by multiple rounds of gunfire as the men turned westbound from 160th St out of the driveway, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Juan Vasquez, Jr. Photo from family member

Vasquez apparently got out of the vehicle and walked back to the house.  The driver of the SUV heard one more shot, according to the release.  When he realized Vasquez was not returning to the vehicle, detectives say he drove away from the scene.  That witness was interviewed by police shortly after the shooting.

Moreno left the home in his pickup truck moments after the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.  His vehicle is a 2004 Ford F-150 four-door pickup with license plate EUZ-057.  His location is unknown.

Investigators say they’re not certain Moreno is armed, but they assume he is carrying a weapon  Police say they believe strong negative feelings between Moreno and Vasquez led to the shooting, and they don’t believe he is a threat to the public.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who sees Moreno’s vehicle to immediately contact police and avoid approaching the vehicle.



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