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Man paralyzed, car hit 29 times in drive-by shooting in small southern Minnesota town

Attempted murder charges filed against suspects in Janesville.

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WASECA, Minn. — Two men face first-degree attempted murder charges in the drive-by shooting of a man Tuesday in downtown Janesville, Minnesota.

Charges filed Wednesday in Waseca County District Court allege Devonte Bernard Phillips fired the gun and William Cornelius Terrel Peavy drove the vehicle during Tuesday's shooting that left a man paralyzed below the waist.

Phillips, 26, no address listed, and Peavy, 31, of Waseca, both face identical first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault causing great bodily harm, and drive-by shooting charges.

The gunshot victim, identified only as "K.B.," in a criminal complaint, told a police officer he couldn't feel his legs after the shooting. He reportedly has a bullet round "lodged in his thoracic vertebrae and is a permanent paraplegic."

The complaint states the man's vehicle, which he crashed into the side of the post office, had 29 separate bullet impacts on its side. Described as being in his 20s, he remained in stable condition at a Rochester hospital as of Wednesday morning, said Janesville Police Chief David Ulmen.

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K.B. was driving near the Janesville State Bank on Main Street when a dark sedan pulled up alongside him, according to the complaint. Witnesses reported Phillips, the passenger in the dark sedan, fired into K.B.'s vehicle before the sedan fled east on Old Highway 14.
Janesville is about 18 miles east of Mankato.

A Waseca County Sheriff's Office sergeant located the suspects' vehicle on Highway 14 and initiated a traffic stop. After one to two miles, Peavy pulled over and he and Phillips were taken into custody.

Officers reported finding two handguns, a 9 mm and a .40-caliber, under the passenger seat and a knife on the passenger-side floorboard. The 9 mm handgun was empty, according to the complaint, and it matched the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the shooting — casings and broken glass could be seen littered on the street afterward.

Along with the attempted murder, assault and drive-by shooting charges filed against him, Phillips faces a fourth felony for firearm possession after a violent crime conviction. His criminal record includes three 2018 convictions for drug sales in Rice County and domestic assault and violating a no-contact order in Waseca County.

Phillips and Peavy have bail hearings set for 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

After the shooting shut down streets and businesses Tuesday, activity in Janesville resumed Wednesday. Shootings aren't common in the city, Ulmen said, and locals seemed to be holding up OK all things considered one day later.

"We've had a lot of really good support from citizens who've witnessed things and heard things," he said. "Everyone's doing their best to help us out."

(c)2022 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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