Man charged in New Year’s shooting that hurt 11-year-old Minneapolis girl

Formal charges have been filed against the Fridley man accused of firing an AR-15 rifle to celebrate the new year, which wounded an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis.

James William Turner, 44, is charged with gun possession by an ineligible person and reckless discharge of a gun.

Those charges come a day after Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara announced Turner’s arrest and called it “absolutely reckless celebratory behavior.”

According to charging documents, the 11-year-old told police that she’d heard gunshots and went to the window to see what was happening when she was hit in the face by a bullet. She was taken to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery to remove bullet fragments from her face.

Shenedra Ross, the girl’s mother, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it happened just minutes into the new year and two days before her daughter’s birthday.

The family says they want to move out of their north Minneapolis home and have a GoFundMe account set up for donations to help pay for moving expenses.

Police were able to find surveillance videos and Snapchat videos from neighbors to identify Turner as the person responsible for the shooting.

A criminal complaint states that those videos showed Turner firing several rounds from a rifle into the ground while walking from his car. He then appeared to have trouble with the gun, the complaint adds, and “continues to struggle with the weapon” as he got back to his car. He then starts firing rounds at “a very shallow angle” and is seen in the videos playing with the gun before firing even more rounds at an even shallower angle.

While Turner initially denied firing a gun that night when he was arrested, court documents note that he admitted to firing into the ground when police told him about the videos.

He was convicted of assault in Anoka County back in July, which made him ineligible to have a gun.

Turner’s first court appearance is set for Friday afternoon. The gun possession charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison while reckless discharge is punishable by up to five years in jail.