Father sent to prison in shooting

Published 2:18 pm Saturday, September 14, 2013

AUSTIN — The second man in last year’s shooting in rural Lansing was sent to prison Friday.

Daniel Robert Peterson, 63, was sentenced to 39 months in prison for first-degree assault with great bodily harm and two charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, all felonies. He was given credit for 309 days in jail. A Mower County District Court jury found Daniel guilty in June but decided he was not guilty of his most severe charge of second-degree attempted murder with intent.

Daniel’s son, Joseph Daniel Peterson, 28, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this year for two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the same case.

Email newsletter signup

According to the court complaint, three people drove onto the Petersons’ property at 560th Avenue in Udolpho Township to “hang out” with Joseph. 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 tried to leave the property. One bullet 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.