2-year sentence for man who straw purchased gun used in Truck Park mass shooting

The man who pleaded guilty to straw purchasing a gun that was used in the deadly mass shooting last year at Seventh Street Truck Park Bar in St. Paul will serve just over two years in prison.

Jerome Fletcher Horton Jr., 26, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in March to one count of false statements in the purchase of firearms.

According to Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, a Mossberg model MC2C 9mm semiautomatic pistol was found in a suspect’s car shortly after the Oct. 10, 2021, shooting that killed 27-year-old Marquisha Wiley and injured 14 others.

Investigators say Horton purchased that gun from a Fleet Farm store in Blaine on July 31, 2021, and had purchased a total of 33 firearms in a four-month span from June to October of last year, often accompanied by others.

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Another defendant, 28-year-old Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan, was sentenced to 40 months in prison earlier this month for his role in the straw purchasing scheme. Prosecutors say Horton gave the Mossberg pistol to Young-Duncan, who then handed it off to a third party.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has now filed a lawsuit against Fleet Farm, accusing the company of “aiding and abetting straw purchasers.”