NORTH MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The father of a 2-year-old boy killed after being shot in north Minneapolis last week is now facing charges, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office confirmed Friday.
Melvonte Peterson, 25, is being charged with possession of a firearm and "dangerous weapons-drive by shooting toward a person." Due to prior drug convictions, Peterson was prohibited from obtaining a firearm.
Bullet holes in children's van
On July 8, Minneapolis police responded to the intersection of Penn Avenue North and Lowry Avenue North at 11:30 a.m. on a report of gunshots heard in the area.
Shortly after the shooting, Peterson arrived in his van at North Memorial Hospital with the two children, who he said were his kids. 2-year-old Le'Vonte "King Jason" Jones died from being shot in the chest, and 15-month-old Melia Jones suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
"Police at the hospital found two bullet holes in the van," the criminal complaint states. "Inside the van on the driver's side floor was a discharged cartridge casing from a 45-caliber gun."
Video obtained of shooting in intersection
Police obtained a video which shows a shooting involving Peterson's van and another vehicle at the intersection of Penn and Lowry Avenues North, just minutes before he and the two children arrived at the hospital.
According to court documents, the video shows a black Chevrolet Impala stopped at the intersection before Peterson's van pulled up next to it. As the van slowed down next to the Impala, Minneapolis Police Shot Spotter equipment detected two gun shots, a brief pause, then nine more shots fired as Peterson's van turned onto Penn Avenue.
"Video shows the defendant's van pulling away and jumping the curb as the first two shots are fired," the complaint stated. The driver of the Impala then fled the scene.
Casings recovered from 45-caliber handgun
Records obtained from Peterson's social media accounts reveal he was involved in trading one gun for a 45-caliber gun on July 7, court documents stated.
Law enforcement officials recovered casings from a 45-caliber handgun in the intersection that fell along the path taken by Peterson's van. Four bullet holes on a nearby hardware store were also found to be consistent with bullets fired at the Impala as it drove away, the complaint stated.
Police believe Impala driver shot children
Minneapolis Police believe the driver of the Impala fired the first two shots that struck the children. They are working on identifying and apprehending that driver.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the MPD TIP Line at 612-692-TIPS (8477) or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Family says goodbye to 2yo Le'Vonte King Jones.Funeral same day his Dad arrested for role in deadly rolling shootout pic.twitter.com/DgSmeRM4k2— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) July 15, 2016