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Son, mother arrested in connection to 16-year-old's shooting death in St. Louis County

The teen was fatally shot around 1:20 a.m. Dec. 28, 2020.
Joseph James Fohrenkam

Joseph James Fohrenkam

A suspect is in custody in connection to the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy in northern Minnesota. 

The teenager, identified as Joseph James Peterson, of Cloquet, was fatally shot on Dec. 28, 2020, outside a residence on Giiniw Road on the Fond du Lac Reservation, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities were looking for three persons of interest who the sheriff's office says left the scene of the shooting prior to deputies arriving, which prompted a homicide investigation. 

The three persons of interest – a 25-year-old man, an 18-year-old man and his 38-year-old mother – were then the subject of a search, with the St. Louis County Attorney's Office issuing an arrest warrant Dec. 29, 2020, for the 18-year-old who is believed to be responsible for the teenager's death. 

The 18-year-old, identified as Joseph James Fohrenkam of Cloquet, was found with his mother Jan. 5 at an apartment complex on the White Earth Reservation in Mahnomen. 

Fohrenkam is now facing  a second-degree manslaughter charge. It's unclear if his mother will be charged. 

According to the charges against Fohrenkam, three witnesses who were in a truck on Giiniw Road with Fohrenkam and Peterson said they were all drinking together and talking. 

Fohrenkam was showing off a gun and waving it around when at one point it discharged, charges state. Witnesses, who had left the scene, then reported hearing several more gunshots, adding that Fohrenkam was either shooting at a bottle on the ground or at the truck. 

The 25-year-old person of interest was located earlier and cooperated with authorities. 

Note: Details provided in this story are based on law enforcement's version of events, and may be subject to change.

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