Duluth man accused of shooting another man for saying he was not in a real gang
A Lakeside-Lester Park man with 31 criminal and traffic cases filed against him in eight Minnesota counties was arraigned in State District Court on Friday on charges that he shot a man who allegedly made derogatory comments about him not being i...
A Lakeside-Lester Park man with 31 criminal and traffic cases filed against him in eight Minnesota counties was arraigned in State District Court on Friday on charges that he shot a man who allegedly made derogatory comments about him not being in a real gang.
Mark Lambert Uran, 38, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, drive-by shooting and second-degree assault in connection with the incident Tuesday night at 2121 W. Third St., in Duluth.
According to the criminal complaint:
The shooting victim, Thomas N. Billington, 23, said that Uran claims to be of Mexican descent and claims to belong to the Mara Salvatrucha gang (also known as MS 13), an extremely violent transnational criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles.
Billington told Duluth police that he had been drinking with Uran a few months ago and he made derogatory comments about Uran not being in a real gang. Billington told an officer that he had been in jail earlier this month and encountered one of Uran's friends. Billington said the jailed man told him that Uran was "out to get him" for his comments about the gang.
Tuesday night Billington took his dogs outside his residence and saw Uran's vehicle parked in the alley. Billington told police that Uran called him over to the vehicle. He said he thought Uran was going to try to smooth over their earlier dispute. When Billington got up to the driver's side window, he saw Uran holding a gun in his lap. Billington said that Uran raised the gun and pointed it at him. He said he saw a red laser dot on his chest, the complaint alleges.
Billington said he pushed the gun down and Uran shot, causing a bullet to strike Billington's left leg. A family member took him to Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center.
On Wednesday, a police investigator met with Billington to show him a photo lineup. Billington became emotional and with tears in his eyes circled Uran's photo as the suspect. He said that he was "99.9 percent sure that he (Uran) was the one who shot me," the complaint alleges.
The victim also gave a description consistent with Uran's Chevrolet Blazer.
According to court records, Uran has been convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, assault, theft, drug possession and fleeing police, among other offenses.
Uran was in a wheelchair behind the glass in a secure area of the arraignment courtroom in the St. Louis County Courthouse when he appeared before Judge David Johnson.
"This is totally (b.s.)," Uran said when his case was called. "Not guilty."
After Johnson told Uran he didn't want to be interrupted, there were no further outbursts.
According to a police report, Uran is in a wheelchair because he is also a victim of a shooting. The report says that Uran is able to drive by using a hockey stick with a boot on the end of it.
Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Kristen Swanson filed a memo with the court asking that bail be set at $150,000. She said Uran has a history of crimes of violence, has previously been committed to the Commissioner of Corrections and she questioned the likelihood that he would voluntarily return for court appearances.
Johnson set bail at $150,000 and ordered Uran to have no contact with the alleged victim.