Shooter pleads guilty to assault

Published 5:34pm Saturday, March 16, 2013

One of two men arrested after shooting at a car containing several people near Lansing on Nov. 15, 2012, took a plea agreement Friday in Mower County Court.

Joseph Daniel Peterson, 27, pleaded guilty to felony charges for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felon convicted of a crime of violence in possession of a firearm. Two other charges of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.

According to the court complaint, three people drove onto the Petersons’ property at 560th Avenue in Udolpho Township to “hang out” with Joseph. However, victims say Joseph acted strangely when he saw one victim, kicked a tree, ran into a garage and then fired shots at their car with a rifle.

The complaint adds Joseph’s father, Daniel Robert Peterson, 63, then exited the house and fired at the car as the victims tried to leave the property. One bullet reportedly went through the driver’s side window and struck a 30-year-old woman in the face while she was driving. A passenger reportedly grabbed the wheel and steered while the shot victim hit the accelerator.

The passenger later switched seats with the injured woman and drove her to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, where officials locked down the facility for about 35 minutes as Mower County Deputies searched for the suspects. The report adds the gunshot shattered some of the woman’s teeth, and she was later airlifted to St. Marys Hospital. She has since been released from the hospital.

Police went to the Peterson residence, where they arrested Joseph, who had a .22 caliber rifle, according to the complaint. After roughly an hour, Daniel exited the house and turned himself in.

In court, Daniel said, “They were trespassing on my property; they were warned several times.”

Daniel is charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault with intent to cause great bodily harm and three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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