LF man sentenced to 10 years in prison for drive-by shootings, burglary

Jett Alan Schaffer, 19, Little Falls, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for two drive by shootings and a burglary of a firearm. Schaffer was sentenced by District Court Judge Mary Mahler at the Morrison County Courthouse  Thursday morning.

Assistant County Attorney Todd Kosovich said that the case began Oct. 6, 2009, at about 9:45 p.m., when a citizen called 911 to report that a car drove by his house in Little Falls Township and fired a gunshot from the road into his home. The bullet went through the exterior wall and through the interior sheetrock, causing a cloud of dust in the room. The bullet then traveled through the living room, into the kitchen and lodged in a kitchen cabinet. The path of the projectile passed between the caller and his girlfriend. In addition, a 6-year-old child was also in the room at the time of the shooting.

A second Little Falls Township resident called 911 and reported that he was watching TV when someone fired a shot through their living room window.

The investigation found that Jett Schaffer, then 16, was the shooter. The gun used, a sawed-off .22 caliber Remington pump action rifle with a modified pistol grip, was found to be from a burglary the day before the shooting. Schaffer admitted stealing the gun and altering it by sawing off the barrel and putting a pistol grip on the weapon.

In his confession, Schaffer also admitted that he knew there were houses behind the signs that he was allegedly shooting.

Schaffer explained to a sheriff’s deputy, “I was caught in the moment and I didn’t even think about it. Like I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but I was caught in the moment you know. Like I thought it was fun.”

The Morrison County Attorney’s office immediately filed papers to have Schaffer tried as an adult. The District Court initially ruled that matter should remain in juvenile court. The matter went all the way to the Minnesota State Court of Appeals before Schaffer was ordered to be tried as an adult. The case finally came to a close July 12, with the sentencing of Schaffer.

“This case involved four different prosecutors, had hearings in front of five different judges and the court of appeals, and took 2 1/2 years of litigation, but finally justice was done,” said County Attorney Brian Middendorf.

“I believed since the very beginning of this case that Schaffer should be sentenced as an adult. That was my primary goal. Juveniles that commit violent crimes should be held accountable as adults,” he said.