Charges: Suspect in Delano drive-by shooting believed victim killed his cousin

A 34-year-old man is charged with attempted murder for shooting at an SUV in Delano, Minnesota driven by a man he believed to have been involved with his cousin’s drug overdose death in 2017. 

Joshua Moist of Howard Lake was charged Thursday with second-degree attempted murder, drive-by shooting with a dangerous weapon and second-degree assault. 

Speaking to Fox 9 by phone, in order to protect his identity, the victim in this case remains terrified despite Moist sitting in jail.

“I didn’t even know his name until today,” he said.

At 2:24 a.m. on Tuesday, Wright County deputies responded to a report of shots fired into a vehicle near Stahlke Bus Service off County Line Road. 

The driver of the Chevy Tahoe that was shot at told deputies that a silver, sedan-style passenger vehicle with one headlight had followed his car out of the Delano East Holiday gas station. The victim drove north on County Line Road and eventually turned into the parking lot of Stahlke Bus Service, where his vehicle was struck by several bullets. 

“I went to turn around and out of the back window I saw fire,” said the victim. “Next thing I knew It was the worst experience I’ve ever had and I was trying to hang on for life and keep going. I don’t wish that upon nobody.”

The victim suffered a small laceration to his face from broken glass. Stray bullets also struck two buses, but both were unoccupied at the time. 

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers determined that Moist believed the victim was involved with or responsible for the death of his cousin, who died of a drug overdose last year. Moist sought out the victim, followed him and opened fire on him as he was driving, intending to kill him. 

Moist’s grandmother said Moist had been at her house several days before the shooting looking at family photos. He had a handgun with him at the time, which he claimed was a BB gun. Moist told his grandmother he believed he had figured out who had killed his cousin and that he was going to take care of it. 

The victim says he has never met Moist or his late cousin.

“It’s pretty unfortunate that someone tried to kill somebody that had absolutely nothing to do with it,” he said.

Surveillance video from an adjacent business captured footage of the victim and suspect vehicles. Detectives identified the suspect vehicle as a 2002 silver Chrysler 300M owned by Moist. Moist’s driver’s license photo matched the appearance of the driver of the Chrysler involved in the shooting. 

A police officer with the Three Rivers Park District located Moist’s vehicle at Rebecca Lake Park Reserve in Rockford. It was stuck in the mud near a boat access. 

Wright County deputies surveilled Moist’s home and the homes of his relatives. He was eventually arrested after he was seen at his grandmother’s home getting into a car with his aunt, who had previously approached detectives at the crime scene looking for him because he had called her for a ride. 

Deputies found a handgun in the glove compartment. Moist’s aunt said he put the gun in the glove box and was trying to lock it prior to being pulled over.