• Man pleads guilty in connection with deadly shooting outside Mexican restaurant

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Gerardo Lagune pleaded guilty Thursday to being an accessory to murder and will spend five years in prison.

    [Man shot, killed moments after walking out of south Charlotte restaurant]

    It started after an underaged man tried to buy alcohol inside a restaurant and was refused. Two men left and got in car.

    Lagune was inside the car when police say Juan Escalante shot rounds of bullets into the Lempira restaurant on South Boulevard near Archdale Drive in April

    Domingo Venencio-Tapia was outside the entrance and was shot in the head and died.

    Lagunes tried to buy alcohol inside the restaurant but was refused service because he was underage.

    The 41-year-old victim interacted with a group of men inside the restaurant beforehand, police said.

    The manager of the restaurant said it was a friendly exchange.

    Lagune’s mother said he got caught up with the wrong people and friends said they hope this is a wake-up call.

    “I hope he will learn the lesson now,” Lugenes’ friend, Jocelyn Mesa, said in Spanish. “He needs to understand he can’t hang out with these kind of people.”

    The suspected shooter, Juan Escalante, was also in court and was denied bond.

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