Victim Suffered Skull Fracture; Suspect Linked To Other Robberies Targeting Somali IndividualsBy Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A young woman is in jail after police say she shot and pistol whipped an elderly Somali woman. Minneapolis Police say Da’Seanna Williams has been targeting the Somali community in a series of robberies.

The incident is rocking one of Minnesota’s largest immigrant communities, a culture that treasures its elders.

“If somebody is older than you you listen to that person, you take care of them,” AK Hassan, of Minneapolis, said.

“The moms, the grandmas are the backbones of our families,” Farhia Budhul, of Minneapolis, added.

What happened to a Somali elder on Saturday afternoon cut especially deep.

“Police arrived and found a victim who had been beat and pistol whipped so severely that a piece of the gun had broken off,” Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said.

The woman had been walking to pay her rent. As a community member explained, many elders don’t have transportation and have to walk to pay bills.

Police say they found the 21-year-old responsible, a young woman they say is not a rookie; they say she’s accused in a string of robberies in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Williams admitted to targeting Somali individuals and, often times, Somali women. Police say the elder lost her money and and almost lost her life. Her injuries included a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, and wounds from the beating and shooting.

“Some things need to be addressed in our community, and this is literally the saddest thing,” Budhul said. “It is painful, it’s painful.”

The victim was just released from HCMC, and she and so many others try to heal.

Police say after looking at surveillance video, they found the suspect in a Brooklyn Park Apartment, where they recovered the gun used in the beating. She’s charged with two felonies.

If convicted on both charges, Williams faces up to 30 years in prison.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield