Minneapolis homicide detectives on the trail of a man wanted in the April slaying of activist Tyrone Williams Jr. are mining the suspect’s social media accounts in hopes that they will provide clues to his whereabouts.
Last month, detectives obtained a warrant to search the Snapchat account of Sid Brady Strickland Green III, who remains on the run a month after police say he shot Williams, possibly due to an ongoing dispute with Green’s friend. Green’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Police have so far divulged few details about the case, but recently unsealed court documents that shed some light on their investigation.
Williams and Green’s friend were former roommates who had been involved “an ongoing disagreement that came to a head” on March 30, a detective wrote in a court filing. That episode ended with Green’s friend getting evicted from the duplex they shared in the 1000 block of Knox Avenue N., police say.
Four days later, Williams, known to friends as Ty, was talking to two men outside of a relative’s house in the area of 8th and Elwood avenues N. Witnesses told police that one of the men shot Williams before fleeing the scene in a yellow Cadillac in the direction of Olson Hwy., police said.
Surveillance footage from a passing Metro Transit bus showed a yellow sedan matching the suspect’s vehicle heading west on Olson Hwy. moments after the shooting, according to police.
Police said in court filings that Green owns a yellow 1987 Cadillac DeVille like the one that was at the scene, and phone records placed him just west of where the shooting happened minutes afterward. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, but it remains under seal.
Williams died at a nearby hospital after suffering gunshot wounds to the chest and the lower body.
The 33-year-old father of four was a local activist who helped coordinate the 18-day occupation of Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct police station following the 2015 police shooting of Jamar Clark, and he was also the brother of former City Council candidate Raeisha Williams.
Around the time of his former roommate’s eviction, Williams confided in some of his friends that the man had threatened to kill him via private messages on Facebook, police said.
Police on Friday continued their search for the suspected gunman. They said a witness had identified Green, 27, as one of the men Williams was talking to before he was shot. The same witness later told investigators that Green had admitted in a phone conversation to shooting Williams, and police believe he exchanged calls with his friend — Williams’ former roommate — shortly after the murder, court filings say.
Green has since turned off his cellphone to avoid being tracked, police said, frustrating their efforts to find him. In recent weeks, police obtained a search warrant for Green’s account on the social media platform Snapchat, seeking every message that he sent or received over a nearly three-week period ending in April, according to Minneapolis Police Sgt. James Jensen, one of two detectives assigned to the case. That information may lead them to him, police said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what data were gathered under the warrant.
Investigators also obtained a court order delaying the release of the warrant for 90 days, arguing that “such a disclosure could give the subscriber an opportunity to destroy evidence, notify confederates, and/or flee or continue their flight from prosecution,” Jensen wrote in an application for the warrant.
Green hasn’t had many brushes with the law, but his record does include a conviction for second-degree assault, court records show. He was not in custody as of Friday evening, jail records show.