A man being confronted on a Rochester street by four men over a minor vehicle accident took out his cellphone to video-record the dispute, and one of them responded with fatal gunfire, according to charges filed Thursday.
Sao Yim Jr., 24, was charged in Olmsted County District Court with second-degree murder in connection with the Monday killing of Ahmed Muafaq Abdulhu Al Naddf, 40, who was shot in the chest.
Also charged with aiding Yim was Eric T. Lee, 25. Among other things, prosecutors allege that Lee took the cellphone of the mortally wounded Naddf.
Two other young men were arrested in connection with the killing in the 2800 block of Charles Court NW., but they have yet to be charged and were let out of jail. All four are from Rochester.
Naddf leaves behind a wife and three young children, said Police Capt. John Sherwin, who added that Naddf fled from strife-torn Iraq with his family several years ago.
"There does not appear to be a prior connection or relationship between the victim and suspects," the captain said.
Surveillance video from the apartment building where the four men emerged, along with witness accounts, proved crucial to police in building their case.
According to the criminal complaints:
Yim, Lee and the two others were in Yim's girlfriend's apartment using marijuana and drinking. Yim noticed that his car parked out front had been struck at a low speed by another vehicle driven by Naddf.
Naddf parked his vehicle and walked toward Yim's car.
The four men confronted Naddf, and Yim soon displayed a handgun down on his side in hopes of frightening Naddf.
Naddf responded by taking out his cellphone "as if to record the four suspects confronting him," the charging documents read.
At that point, two of the four fled, leaving Naddf with Yim and Lee. Just as Yim and Lee began also stepping away, Yim shot Naddf.
Yim and Lee headed back to the apartment building but reversed course back to Naddf's body. The surveillance video showed Lee taking Naddf's cellphone. The two then went back to the apartment of Yim's girlfriend. A search of the residence turned up the gun and Naddf's cellphone in a heating vent of a bedroom.
Sherwin said the suspected tapping of Yim's car was so minor that there was "no damage or anything to either vehicle."
Yim was also charged Thursday with illegal possession of a firearm stemming from his conviction as a juvenile about 10 years ago for burglary.