MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 26-year-old St. Paul man faces a second-degree murder charge in connection to the shooting death of 24-year-old in St. Paul Tuesday evening.
The man charged, Ibrahim Mohammed Abdullahi, made his first appearance in court early Friday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday, an officer in the area of Hamline and Marshall avenues heard what he believed to be shots fired. The officer continued to look in the area until he found the victim, identified as Jeffery Earl Willingham, on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound.
Willingham was taken to Regions Hospital where he was treated. He was expected to live after being treated at the hospital, but died due to complications from the gunshot wound early Wednesday morning.
When friends of Willingham arrived at the crime scene Tuesday evening, they told police they had been drinking at the nearby Dunning Park when a Somali male, identified as Abdullahi, approached them and began to yell at them for no reason. They said Abdullahi had a gun and walked off, but Willingham followed the man and shouted repeatedly, “Shoot me, n—a!” Abdullahi then fired a shot into the air before walking west on Marshall Avenue. Willingham continued to run after the man and two more gunshots were heard. Willingham was then found lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his stomach.
Another witness said that when Abdullahi initially approached the group, he told them, “I have a permit and I will shoot you and all your friends,” before walking away.
Police the located a blue 2003 Infiniti G35 parked across the street from 1200 Carroll Avenue. It stood out because it was the only car on the street and was parked 4 feet from the curb with the hood of the car still warm to the touch, the complaint said. A search warrant of the vehicle recovered a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber cartridge and Abdullahi’s cell phone.
The suspect vehicle was identified as belonging to Abdullahi, who fit the description of the suspect.
Abdullahi was arrested Wednesday after a search warrant of his residence recovered a shirt consistent with the suspect description along with ammunition similar to what was used to shoot Willingham, the complaint said.
Abdullahi has a previous second-degree assault conviction. He received an upward departure and was released from prison in December 2013.
If convicted of his murder charge, Abdullahi could face up to 40 years in prison.