Charges: Gang leader ordered shooting of St. Paul woman in May Township

A St. Paul woman narrowly survived after an Uber driver found her shot on the side of the road near Stillwater, Minnesota.

Now, a 23-year-old man is behind bars for an act authorities say was all for the benefit of a gang.

Police say Luis Mendoza attempted to kill the woman at the order of a gang leader. The other suspect, Angel Ignacio Sardina-Padilla, was arrested Tuesday evening in Minneapolis.

According to charging documents, it all started when the 39-year-old victim bought a gun from a known gang member and meth dealer, but was $100 short.

The next day, Sardina-Padilla and Mendoza showed up to her apartment and held her and her roommates hostage, eventually forcing the woman into Mendoza’s car where she would remain for hours.

After driving all day, Sardina-Padilla got out of the car, but Mendoza kept driving. After several hours, he stopped on a dirt road near Stillwater, ordered the woman out of the car, pointed a gun at her and shot. The bullet barely missed her heart.

He later told police Sardina-Padilla ordered him to kill her and that he drove around contemplating whether to do it. He said if he didn’t, he feared they would kill him, instead.

Mendoza is charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder for the Benefit of a Gang, Attempted 2nd Degree Murder for Benefit of a Gang, and Kidnapping for the Benefit of a Gang.

Sardina-Padilla is charged with Aiding and Abetting 1st Degree Murder for the Benefit of a Gang, Aiding and Abetting 2nd Degree Murder For the Benefit of a Gang, and Aiding and Abetting Kidnapping for the Benefit of a Gang.