2 Mpls. teens indicted in triple slaying

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2010 - 9:19 PM

The two already faced charges, but a grand jury indictment was required in order to try them on first-degree murder charges.


The local Somali community, in shock over the brazen slayings at Seward Market and Halal Meat on Franklin Avenue in south Minneapolis, held a vigil the next night on Jan. 7.

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Two Minneapolis teenagers have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the shootings of three men last month in a grocery store on East Franklin Avenue.

Mahdi Hassi Ali and Ahmed Shire Ali were arrested after the killings on Jan. 6. Both remain in custody. They were charged earlier by complaints, but in order to try a defendant on first-degree murder charges, a grand jury indictment must be obtained.

Killed that night were Anwar Salah Mohammed, Mohamed Abdi Warfa and Osman Jama Elmi. The two teens, who are not related, were indicted on two counts for each death: first-degree murder and first-degree murder while committing aggravated robbery.

Mahdi Ali is the accused shooter. The criminal complaint alleged that Ahmed Shire Ali kept two customers confined to the back of the store while Mahdi Ali attempted a robbery.

The indictments were issued late Thursday. Seven witnesses are listed as having testified before the grand jury. They include medical examiners and police, as well as two people identified only as Witness A and Witness B. They are presumed to be the two customers in the back of the store who were mentioned in the criminal complaints.

Ahmed Shire Ali's lawyer, Paul Edlund, said, "From the beginning, this has been a sad situation for the victims as well as the defendants. Now that these young boys are facing the prospect of life without ever getting out, it adds to the sadness."

Mahdi Ali's lawyer, Frederick Goetz, said the indictments were "nothing surprising. It's the usual course."

Both defendants are due to appear before Hennepin County Judge Mark Wernick this month so their cases can be assigned to a judge.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

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