Son in Lansing shooting gets 3 years in prison

Published 2:07pm Saturday, June 22, 2013

AUSTIN — The first of two men in last year’s shooting in rural Lansing was sent to prison Friday.

Joseph Daniel Peterson, 28, was convicted of two counts of felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to 36 months in prison. Two other charges of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.

On June 7 in Mower County District Court, Joseph’s father, Daniel Robert Peterson, 63, was found guilty of first-degree assault with great bodily harm and three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, all felonies. The jury decided he was not guilty of second-degree attempted murder with intent, however.

According to the court complaint, three people drove onto the Petersons’ property at 560th Avenue in Udolpho Township to “hang out” with Daniel’s son, Joseph Peterson, 27. However, the victims said Joseph acted strangely when he saw one victim, ran into a garage and then fired shots at their car with a rifle.

The complaint added Daniel then exited the house and fired at the car as the victims were trying 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 stricken 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 stated the gunshot shattered some of the woman’s teeth, and she was later airlifted to St. Marys Hospital. She was eventually released from the hospital.

Police went to the Peterson residence, where they arrested Joseph, who had a .22-caliber rifle. After roughly an hour, Daniel exited the house and turned himself in. During his initial appearance in court, Daniel said, “They were trespassing on my property; they were warned several times.”

During the jury trial, Daniel admitted he shot the rifle six times but was trying to shoot over the car without hitting the victims. He is held in the Mower County jail until his sentencing on Sept. 13.