Rochester man accused of shooting woman, leaving her seriously injured in apartment with her kids

A man is charged with attempted murder for a horrific shooting on Christmas Eve in Rochester, Minnesota in which the victim was first discovered seriously hurt by her children on Christmas Day.

Charges were filed against 34-year-old Phillip Turner Jr. on Wednesday for the shooting of his girlfriend at an apartment building in the northwest part of the city.

Police responded shortly before noon on Christmas Sunday for a welfare check on a woman at her apartment. At the apartment building, police were able to get access and knock on the woman's door. The knock was answered by one of the victim's children who said their "mom was dead", police say.

Inside, officers found the victim in the bedroom with blood around her head. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors said she had been shot once in the head.

The victim's children were able to tell police that their mom and "Phil" had been at the apartment while the children were sleeping. The older sibling said when they woke up they found their sibling in the mother's room and their mother was on the floor, covered in blood. The child also told officers that "Phil" worked at a pizza shop with their mother.

Police went to the pizza shop and found a vehicle registered to Turner in the parking lot but Turner was nowhere to be found. Officers were able to get in contact with a manager who confirmed both Turner and the victim worked at the business.

The manager was also able to give police Turner's phone number. Officers were able to ping that phone to Turner's home on Whalers Lane Northwest. While watching the home, officers spotted Turner leaving through a back entrance and were able to arrest him.

While searching the property, officers found a Remington .380 pistol in a white plastic bag in a snow bank. At the apartment, officers had found a shell casing and a live round for a .380 caliber gun.

A check of surveillance video at the victim's apartment showed Turner arriving at the apartment early Christmas Eve morning and leaving around 7 p.m. that day.

"That evidence would indicate that victim was discovered by law enforcement approximately sixteen hours after Turner left victim’s apartment building and that victim’s two children were alone with her for approximately sixteen hours," the complaint reads.

Speaking with police, Turner initially denied being at the apartment, but ultimately admitted to being at the apartment with a gun. But, he told police that the victim had shot herself but that backtracked and said he didn't remember what happened, police write.

In the complaint, police say the angle of the shooting was "inconsistent" with a self-inflicted shooting and it wouldn't explain why Turner failed to seek help for the victim in the 21 hours before he was arrested.

As for the victim, doctors told police that the bullet had entered the left side of the victim's head above her left ear at a downward trajectory. It ended up in the right lower area of the victim's head. As of Tuesday, police say the victim is still alive, but unconscious with grave injuries and her prognosis was "uncertain".