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Mario Zacate, St. Paul car theft suspect who was arrested in bathtub, shot in chest with shotgun

Mauricio Diaz (left) and Mario Zacate
Mauricio Diaz (left) and Mario Zacate

It's been a rough couple of weeks for 20-year-old Brooklyn Park resident Mario Zacate.

SEE ALSO: Man arrested for drunkenly hitting on Lakeville Taco Bell drive-thru employee

Less than two weeks after he was arrested naked in the bathtub in connection with a car theft, Zacate was shot in the chest by an alleged member of the MS-13 gang.

A Friday night argument in a parking lot on the 1400 block of Arkwright Street in St. Paul between Zacate and Mauricio Diaz, 24, ended with Zacate in the emergency room and Diaz behind bars after he allegedly shot Zacate in the chest with a shotgun.

According to the criminal complaint, Diaz, known on the streets as "Serio," believed Zacate owed him money. As he recovered in the hospital following the Friday night incident, Zacate told police a friend of his once robbed Diaz of "an ounce of dope," and Diaz apparently believed Zacate played a role in setting up the robbery. Diaz "had been threatening to kill [Zacate] for the past few months," the complaint says. Zacate also told police about Diaz's alleged gang membership.

On Friday, the two were arguing in the parking lot, and eventually Zacate approached Diaz's car. According to one of Zacate's friends who witnessed the incident, Diaz told Zacate he wanted his money. Zacate, in response, asked him, "Watcha gonna do about it?" Zacate's friend then heard a gunshot, and Serio drove off.

Zacate "suffered a through and through shotgun wound to the chest," the complaint says. But he survived and was transported to Regions Hospital.

Diaz was later arrested. Asked about the Friday night incident, he denied shooting anyone and said he doesn't even own a gun. But the Pioneer Press, citing the complaint, reports that "Diaz's Facebook page contained several pictures of him with a handgun in his waistband, and photos of methamphetamine and marijuana."

Diaz has been charged with first- and second-degree assault.

-- Aaron Rupar is off the rest of the week and wishes you a happy 4th of July holiday. Follow him on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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