Suspects in fatal New Bedford shooting held without bail

Keeland Rose and Ivan Fontanez Jr.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Two suspects charged in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old New Bedford man faced a judge on Tuesday and prosecutors revealed what may have prompted the attack.

Police said Brad Lourenco was shot in the back of the head Monday afternoon at Roberto Clemente Park, near the Ben Rose Gardens housing complex. He later died at the hospital.

Ivan Fontanez Jr., 20, and Keeland Rose, 23, were arrested and charged in connection with the shooting. Prosecutors said the suspects fired at random into a crowd of people. They believe Fontanez was the one who pulled the trigger.

Prosecutors claim the shooting was in retaliation for another shooting that occurred last week near the corner of Kempton and Cook Streets. The victim in the previous shooting, according to prosecutors, was Fontanez’s half-brother.

Investigators on Monday found a firearm hidden in the concrete of a pedestrian bridge nearby. Prosecutors said that gun matched the caliber used in the deadly shooting.

“At the scene, nine 22-caliber shell casings were found,” Assistant District Attorney Robert DiGiantomaso said in court. “Surveillance was recovered depicting this defendant and another defendant, both known from the west end of the city of New Bedford, and there’s significant issues between the West End and the South End at this time.”

Fontanez Jr., 20, and Rose, 23, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault and battery by discharge of a firearm, carrying an illegal firearm, carrying a loaded illegal firearm and illegal discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building. The district attorney’s office said it’s possible the charges will be upgraded following Lourenco’s death.

The judge ordered both suspects held without bail.