DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
W. Anders Folk
, United States Attorney
Contact: Tasha Zerna

Moorhead Man Charged With Illegal Possession of a Firearm After Juvenile Killed by Bullet Fired From the Defendant’s Gun

MINNEAPOLIS – A Moorhead man, Phillip Jones, Jr., 33, was arrested and charged with firearms violations after a juvenile was killed by a bullet fired from a gun that Jones allegedly possessed, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, on March 21, 2021, officers of the Moorhead Police Department were dispatched to a residence in Moorhead, Minnesota, for a report of a juvenile male with a gunshot wound. After attempting life saving measures, paramedics pronounced the juvenile male, age 6, deceased. Investigators learned that three other juveniles were present in the residence at the time of the incident. According to investigators, Jones had been living at the residence but was not present at the time of the incident, nor were any other adults. Investigators learned that a firearm, a Smith and Wesson SW99, .40 caliber pistol, was located in a box on top of the kitchen cabinets. The firearm was still loaded and a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson spent casing was found in the kitchen trashcan. The investigation later revealed that DNA collected from the firearm matched the DNA profile of Jones. Because Jones has a prior felony conviction in Hennepin County, he is prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Moorhead Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

St. Paul Field Division