WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will prosecute a teenager as an adult for allegedly shooting a man outside a house party this summer in southwest Willmar.
Jeremiah Adam Torke, 17, of St. Cloud, made his first appearance Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court. His bail was set at $500,000 for release without conditions and $100,000 for release with conditions.
Torke’s next court appearance is 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5.
He is charged with second-degree murder — with intent, but not premeditated — for attempting to cause the death of the man, as well as first-degree assault causing great bodily harm and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He also is charged with threats of violence for threatening to kill police officers. All are felonies.
Torke allegedly shot a man outside a house party in the 900 block of Second Street Southwest in Willmar. The shooting occurred about 3 a.m. June 30.
Willmar Police Department officers and Willmar Ambulance personnel arrived to find the shooting victim lying on the ground. He had been shot in the chest but was awake and answering questions. He was found in front of the house next door to the house party.
According to court records, the bullet damaged the man’s liver and gallbladder. Doctors removed his gall bladder but could not remove the bullet without causing additional damage. He was placed in intensive care after surgery.
When the man was interviewed in the hospital, he said the young man who shot him had been standing 10 to 15 feet away, and he did not know why he had been shot.
According to a female witness, Torke had been fighting with people at the party and was told to leave. Shortly after he left, people at the party heard three shots. The witness said she went outside and saw the man who had been shot on the ground and saw Torke in a parking lot across the street, according to the criminal complaint.
A man who witnessed the shooting told authorities the shooting victim had been trying to keep people calm and keep Torke from fighting with others when he was shot, according to the criminal complaint.
A male witness spoke to Torke in the parking lot, and Torke allegedly threatened to shoot him. Another witness told Torke to leave, and he did.
About an hour after the shooting was reported, a woman reported that Torke’s girlfriend had been at her house and was hysterical, saying Torke had allegedly been involved in a shooting. Torke was reportedly at the girlfriend’s house.
Officers found Torke there and found a handgun in the pocket of his shorts when he was searched.
After he was placed in the back of a squad vehicle, he banged his head against a window, even after he was placed in restraints. He had to be carried inside upon arrival at the Prairie Lakes Youth Programs detention center.
During the drive, Torke allegedly swore at officers and made threats that he would “take care of them” when he got out.
Torke allegedly said he would have Latin Kings gang members attack officers at their homes and described an area where three law enforcement officers live.
According to court records, Torke later told Prairie Lakes personnel the gun belonged to his cousin, and he had borrowed it for protection. He said he fired after he thought shots had been fired at him.