A 26-year-old St. Paul man was charged Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of another man Tuesday after the two exchanged words at a city park.
Ibrahim Mohammed Abdullahi was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jeffery Earl Willingham, 24, who was found lying on a sidewalk near Concordia University.
According to the complaint:
Shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, St. Paul police officers patrolling in a squad car were stopped at a light on Hamline Avenue at Marshall Avenue when they heard two shots and saw a person run south across Marshall.
The officers turned east on Marshall, where they found Willingham lying on the sidewalk on the north side of the street. He was unresponsive, with a bullet wound to his stomach, and taken to Regions Hospital where he later died.
A friend of Willingham’s later told police that they had been drinking at Dunning Field when a man approached and yelled at them. The man said he had a gun and walked off, but Willingham followed him and challenged the man to shoot him.
The man fired a shot into the air before running south toward Marshall Avenue, the friend said. Willingham and his friend chased the man, but the friend fell behind as they rounded a corner. He then heard two gunshots, and found Willingham on the sidewalk.
Another acquaintance of Willingham’s told police that they had been partying at her apartment before they went to the park. She said that she saw Willingham and the man exchange words and that Willingham had followed the man, who then pulled out a silver gun.
Police later located a nearby car registered to Abdullahi, who fit the description of the shooter. Police also found a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber cartridge in the car.
When authorities later searched Abdullahi’s apartment, they recovered several rounds of ammunition and a blue-and-white striped shirt that matched eyewitness descriptions of the shirt worn by the shooter.
The cartridge from Abdullahi’s car and the ammunition from his home contained lead bullets consistent with the bullet recovered from Willingham during his autopsy.
Abdullahi was released from prison in December after serving time for a second- degree assault conviction in 2010.