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Investigators: One of the guns used at Truck Park bar shooting could be straw purchase

Federal charges have been filed against a man who purchased 33 firearms over a four month span.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Federal investigators now believe one of the guns used in the Seventh Street Truck Park bar shooting may have been the result of a "straw purchase," in which one person illegally purchases a firearm for another person.

According to a criminal complaint, Jerome Fletcher Horton, Jr., 25, is charged with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm. 

In an affidavit filed in federal court, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said Horton purchased 33 firearms between June and October of 2021. One of those guns, a 9mm pistol, matched the serial number of a firearm discovered in a vehicle belonging to one of the suspects in the Truck Park shooting. 

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Investigators said, at the time of purchase, Horton had indicated on an ATF form that he was the buyer. 

ATF agents later searched Horton's home and discovered no guns at the property. Agents said that is often an indication of straw purchasing, along with the act of purchasing multiple firearms in a short span of time.

In a later interview with ATF agents, Horton denied having conducted any straw purchases, but said he had sold seven guns to different people. He also initially claimed another 10 to 15 firearms had been stolen from a vehicle, but later changed his story to claim they had been taken from a stash in St. Paul.

“As recent tragedies have shown, illegal guns on the street make our communities less safe for everyone,” Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk said in a statement. “Stopping straw purchasers from putting guns in the hands of violent felons is a priority for my office and for the Department of Justice.”

Marquisha Wiley, 27, was killed in the Oct. 10 shooting, and another 15 people were injured, including two suspects. 

Terry Lorenzo Brown, Jr. is charged with one count of second-degree murder and 11 counts of attempted second-degree murder. Devondre Trevon Phillips is charged with 12 counts of attempted second-degree murder. Both were still hospitalized for injuries following the shooting.

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