Two New Bedford Men Now Charged with Murder in Brad Lourenco Shooting
NEW BEDFORD - The two men charged in connection to the shooting death of 18-year-old Brad Lourenco in New Bedford last week have officially been charged with his murder. The updated charge was brought up against Ivan Fontanez, Jr., 20, and Keeland Rose, 23, both of New Bedford, at their Dangerousness Hearing Monday morning in New Bedford District Court, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office. Fontanez and Rose were both ordered held without bail.
According to court documents, at 2:33 p.m. Monday, June 5, New Bedford Police responded to several 911 calls for gunshots in the area of Roberto Clemente Park, located on South First Street within the Ben Rose Housing complex. That's where they discovered 18-year-old Brad Lourenco suffering from a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Because of the severity of his injuries, he was immediately transported to Rhode Island Hospital.
Gang Unit detectives had information that 20-year-old Ivan Fontanez, Jr. and 23-year-old Keeland Rose, both known gang members from the Temple Housing area, had been seen in the area of the shooting just prior to it taking place.
Detective Lavar Gilbert, a New Bedford Police officer assigned as a Task Force Officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the New Bedford Police Organized Crime Intelligence Bureau, was one of the responding officers to reports of Fontanez and Rose being spotted at the Mutual Oil on Potomska Street. Gilbert stated both men were familiar to him from past encounters. He said on May 3, he logged Fontanez as being possibly involved in a shots-fired incident with property damage. He said that both Fontanez and Rose's names have come up "several times for their involvement in city shootings," and that "during the past month and a half, the city has seen an increase in shootings believed to be high tension between West End and South End gang members."
Gilbert stated that knowing Fontanez and Rose were West End gang members, he thought it was "not practical" for them to be in the South End. However, Fontanez's stepbrother Walter Gomes was recently shot in the foot on May 30, and Tevin Cardoza-Dias was arrested for the shooting. Cardoza-Dias is affiliated with the South End gang.
Fontanez and Rose were followed by a person who witnessed the shooting as they walked to the Mutual Oil, and the witness asked the clerk to call 911. Several minutes later, another person called to say there were several males fighting in the area of 114 Acushnet Avenue. When police arrived, they found Fontanez and Rose, out of breath. They were detained and taken to police headquarters for questioning.
Police interviewed Fontanez, who admitted he and Rose had been chased by a group of males from the South End.
Surveillance footage from the Ben Rose Housing projects reveals two males walking south on South First Street on the west sidewalk. While passing Roberto Clemente Park, one of the males, wearing dark colored pants and a dark hooded sweatshirt, brandishes a firearm and points it in the direction of several males with the park, discharging it in their direction. The two males then flee south on South First Street. Several .22 caliber shell casings were located on the west sidewalk of South First Street, just east of where Lourenco was located.
Further surveillance footage from a business on South Front Street captured the two males running and disappearing out of view. The cameras also catch them discarding their sweatshirts into a dumpster. The surveillance cameras at the Mutual Oil on Potomska also captured them walking through the property.
A Quincy Police K-9 dog assisting in the investigation was alerted to the west side of the overpass footbridge that abuts the Ben Rose Housing complex. There, the K-9 located a .22-caliber firearm which was taken into evidence.
Fontanez has a previous firearms charge for possession of a sawed-off shotgun. He was found guilty and sentenced to 2.5-3 years. He has been charged with a subsequent offense for carrying a firearm, and also for being an armed career criminal.