Second suspect arrested in Seward shootingby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Charges are expected to be brought as early as this week against two juveniles in last week's triple homicide at a Minneapolis market. Police on Sunday announced the arrest of a 17-year old in connection with the murders. Another teenager was arrested earlier in the weekend.
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan stood bleary-eyed in front of the cameras Sunday as he announced the second arrest, saying "we now have two suspects in custody whom we believe are responsible for the murders."
Dolan told reporters the 17-year-old suspect turned himself in to the Third Precinct late Saturday night. He thanked the East African community for the many tips and leads that have flooded the department since the shooting happened, and said similar help played a key role in the arrest of the first suspect early Saturday.
The shooting happened last Wednesday evening at Seward Market and Halal Meats, a corner store popular with East African immigrants. The store also handled money transfers. Killed were Anwar Salah Mohammed, and cousins Osman Jama Elmi and Mohamed Abdi Warfa.
The killings were caught on security video, but Police Chief Dolan said there are no plans to release it.
"I doubt it will be shown publicly for a very, very long time. It is very graphic, and it will be held for prosecution and appeals," Dolan said. "More importantly, though, I think it should not be shown out of respect for the victims and their families, and out of respect for public sensibilities."
That news was frustrating for Abdi Osman, Anwar Mohammed's cousin and best friend. The two grew up together before moving to Minneapolis from Ethiopia.
Osman came to the press conference looking for information on why his cousin was killed. With tears in his eyes, he struggled to explain in limited English his reaction to news of the second arrest.
"I think the city is working hard but still we want to know why they did this, why,?" he said. "What is the reason, what is behind this, was it a robbery? We don't know why. We are looking for answers."
He said his cousin, who worked as a parking lot attendant in downtown Minneapolis, stopped by Seward Market on his way home that night to buy a phone card so he could call his wife back in Ethiopia.
Police gave little in the way of answers Sunday, saying they'd discuss motives for the shooting once charges are filed. They initially cited robbery as a motive but have since backed away from that theory. Police did say they do not believe the killings were part of a larger pattern.
Ward 2 Councilmember Cam Gordon, whose district includes Seward, said he's been hearing from people in the neighborhood since the shootings happened.
"The fact that the two people who have been arrested are so young just brings out a lot more anxiety among people and it makes the tragedy seem even greater," said Gordon. "There is a sense of, what can we do to get justice in this instance, but also what can we do to try and save our kids and work together so that we can prevent this in the future."
Police did not rule out charges against other suspects.
- Morning Edition, 01/11/2010, 7:20 a.m.