Granite Falls man sentenced to 17 1/2 years for shooting at officers, striking one

11 July 2023

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. The Granite Falls man charged with shooting at law enforcement officers April 10 as they executed a search warrant at a Granite Falls residence was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

William Edward Schindler, 26, was sentenced July 7 in Yellow Medicine County District Court on a single charge of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer.

He was accused of shooting at three law enforcement officers, and was originally charged with seven felonies.

As part of a plea agreement, two other charges of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer were dismissed, as were three first-degree assault charges and a charge for possessing ammunition and a firearm.

District Judge Thomas Van Hon also ordered that Schindler pay $1,612 in restitution and gave him credit for 88 days already served in jail.

With good behavior in prison, Schindler would be eligible for release after serving two-thirds of the sentence, or about 11 years in prison. According to the state Department of Corrections, Schindler’s expected release date is Dec. 11, 2034.

The judge also ordered Schindler to serve concurrent sentences on two other unrelated charges. The court sentenced him to 12 months and one day in prison and to pay restitution of $650 for a fifth-degree drug possession conviction; and to serve 60 months in prison and pay $650 in restitution for convictions of possession of a firearm and fleeing a law officer in a vehicle.

Schindler pleaded guilty to one of the first-degree attempted murder charges against him. The count accuses him of shooting at an officer with more than nine years of experience on the CEE-VI Drug Task Force. That officer and two others entered the residence in law enforcement uniforms shortly after 4 p.m. that day and announced they had a search warrant.

The complaint charges that Schindler fired multiple rounds at the three officers from a semi-automatic .40-caliber handgun, a Glock 22. The defendant was in the upper level of the residence and began firing about three seconds after the officers entered, according to the complaint.

Willmar Police Officer Jason Hay was the second of the three officers to enter the residence and was struck in the left torso by a bullet. He was treated at the Avera Granite Falls Health Center and released that day.

Schindler and two other occupants of the residence had watched on a video surveillance system as the officers approached the home before entering. According to one of the occupants, Schindler stated he did not intend to get arrested that day and ran upstairs before the officers reached the front door.

After returning fire but not striking Schindler, the officers retreated from the residence. Schindler surrendered after an approximate 1-hour standoff with law enforcement officers.

After taking Schindler into custody, officers obtained a search warrant and seized 15.57 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, residue of methamphetamine, fentanyl paraphernalia and snort tubes and residue, an automatic Colt pistol and a magazine holding one round, two blue pills and opioid bags testing positive for fentanyl, cocaine residue, a New England Arms Pardner 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel less than 12 inches and ammunition.

The owner of the residence, Jordan Keith Ross, 39, has pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing a machine gun and short-barreled shotgun and fifth-degree drug possession. He is scheduled for a hearing on probable cause on Wednesday.


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