Surveillance Video Released Of Seward Market Murders

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Video from inside the Seward Market in south Minneapolis where three people were gunned down in January 2010 has been released.

Last week, a jury convicted 18-year-old Mahdi Ali on three counts of first degree murder, one count of first degree premeditated murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

The surveillance video was the key piece of evidence for prosecutors. It not only showed the robbery but it also showed that the person holding the gun and pulling the trigger was Mahdi Ali.

Two different cameras captured the moments leading into the robbery. The owner, Osman Elmi, and his cousin, Mohamed Warfa, were in the store when Mahdi Ali walked in with another man, Ahmed Shire Ali, and pointed a gun at the two.

Another camera angle shows the men being told to get on the ground. Moments later a customer, Anwar Mohammed, interrupts the robbery. You also see one of the victims try to run out the door but he doesn’t make it.

In less than one minute, two people were killed and Mahdi Ali has left the store.

“In the last 10 years, the number of establishments having video cameras has increased. Convenience stores, grocery stores, ATMs; all that helps us a lot in identifying the perpetrators,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “What the videos give us is a real identification in real time.”

The Seward Market owner is then shown making a call but Mahdi Ali returns again with gun in hand and opens fire. All three men Elmi, Warfa and Mohammed were killed.

Throughout the robbery, both men have their faces covered, yet it was still crucial evidence to get a conviction.

“We had it from a number of angles. From that we could really tell what happened and it provided valuable evidence to identify both the people who went in,” Freeman said.

Because they did not have the actual faces on camera, prosecutors say the victims’ blood on Mahdi Ali’s jeans was another piece of crucial evidence to help them secure a conviction.

While the jury was deliberating, they asked to see the surveillance video from inside the store again. Sentencing is set for Oct. 25. Mahdi Ali will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

More from Rachel Slavik
  • Jake

    This is why we need the death penalty in Minnesota. Cameras don’t LIE.

    • CO

      I wish more people like you would work in the correctional field. I am in the correctional field and am unsure how I feel about MN having a death penalty. I, for one, could not live with myself if I had to watch someone die. Growing up I witnessed a childhood friend get hit by a car and die in front of me. I never want to see another person die. I do believe that it is a waste of time and money to have people in prison for the rest of their lives. I am wanting to become a warden and I know that if MN were to pass the death penalty I would have to witness many deaths. It is not something I want to do.

      • Jake

        Then maybe, with all due respect, you are not in the profession that suits you best. Maybe you should have gone into the health care field, or become a counselor. Justice can be a brutal thing, but without it, chaos is the only result. If the penalty doesn’t fit the crime, then there is no justice, and no deterent.

      • fred

        executing this creep would be like putting down a rabid dog.

  • Lost In Hate

    your third-grade education is showing, kevin.

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  • me

    Hear hear. Well said

  • Nimah

    Kevin, you stupid junk. my brothers are murdered and you talk about somalis needing to be sent back. why don’t you send yourself back to europe? huh? because last i checked, this land was the land of the Native Indians! and in a critical period, doesn’t matter how much you hate a certain group of people, how could you bring that trash to a page that shows the murder of people who were so wonderful that if you knew, you would have changed your views? do me a favor and go take your hate some where else. and don’t be so sure that people from your culture aren’t violent either! learn to differentiate between individuals because you’re just over generalizing a group of people who don’t all have the same values or disciplines in life.

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