Man arrested in New Year's shooting of Minneapolis girl pleads guilty to federal case

A Fridley man has pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition as a felon after he was arrested for firing multiple shots from an AR-style rifle, one of which hit an 11-year-old child in the face on New Year's Day 2024 in Minneapolis.

U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger's office reports that James William Turner, 44, admitted to the charge in U.S. District Court.

Just after midnight on January 1, police responded to a shooting in Minneapolis' Hawthorne neighborhood. A woman told officers that her daughter had been hit by a bullet while sitting in a second-story bedroom. The girl had gone to the window after hearing gunfire outside when a round came through the window and struck them in the face.

The girl, Laneria Wilson, had to undergo surgery to remove the bullet from her face in the days after the shooting.

Police were able to uncover Snapchat videos they said showed Turner holding the rifle and firing multiple rounds in the direction of the home, as part of a New Year's celebration. Turner, who has prior felony convictions, is banned from having firearms or ammunition under federal law.

The same night Wilson was hurt, a boy was also struck by gunfire in St. Paul moments after midnight. A couple is facing charges in that case, which allegedly stemmed from a grudge between neighbors.