Ex-Mankato football star charged with shooting man in head outside Renaissance Festival grounds

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2014 - 9:35 PM

Victim, suspect blame each other in fight over drug dealings.

Dennis E. Carter

Photo: Scott County Jail,

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A standout receiver last season for Minnesota State University, Mankato, has been charged with attempted murder in a shooting during a botched drug deal that left the victim bleeding just outside the dark Renaissance Festival grounds south of Shakopee.

Dennis E. Carter Jr., 25, Mankato, was charged in Scott County District Court with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and fleeing police. Carter remains jailed in lieu of $750,000 bail.

The victim, Diaa Ahmed Abdelhakim, 28, of Spring Lake Park, was shot in the neck, mouth and throat late at night on Aug. 20, and taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Carter was arrested by sheriff’s deputies after a short chase that ended with the suspect being shot with a ­Taser just outside Jordan.

As a senior, Carter led the Mavericks with 964 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions in 12 games. The team went 11-1, losing to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Division II playoffs. In high school, he starred for Spring Lake Park. His father, Dennis Sr., played for the Minnesota Gophers in the mid-1980s.

According to the criminal complaint:

About 11:40 p.m., people in the campground called 911 about a man showing up there bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Unable to speak with the responding deputies, Abdelhakim wrote in the dirt and used hand gestures. He soon regained some speaking ability and implicated Carter and described the shooter’s vehicle.

Abdelhakim and Carter had met at a Shakopee gas station a few hours earlier, intending to smoke marijuana before heading to Mystic Lake Casino, the victim said.

While en route, Carter drove to a dirt road off Hwy. 41 and shot Abdelhakim with a handgun after the two got out of the vehicle. After a short tussle back in the car, Abdelhakim ran to the nearby festival campgrounds.

Once they tracked down Carter, deputies saw blood on the passenger side and elsewhere in the car. The gun was located nearby on the shoulder of Hwy. 169.

At the jail, Carter alleged to authorities that it was Abdelhakim who actually tried to shoot him.

Carter said he had been peddling marijuana for Abdelhakim in the Mankato area for more than a year. About six months ago, Carter continued, he sent cash to Abdelhakim in California. But the money was intercepted and never arrived. Carter explained he was afraid of Abdelhakim because of the money that was owed.

Three days before the shooting, Carter added, he flew to California to meet with Abdelhakim, then drove back with two duffel bags from Abdelhakim.

Carter contended the two struggled for the gun in Abdelhakim’s possession on the night of Aug. 20 and it went off accidentally.

Abdelhakim told detectives that he and Carter have known each other since junior high school. He acknowledged that Carter drove back to Minnesota with marijuana and was in debt to him for $3,500 from earlier drug deals.

Abdelhakim said the fateful meeting was planned so Carter could deliver the marijuana from California.

Authorities searched Carter’s apartment in Mankato and found the duffel bags. Inside were 29 sealed bags of marijuana.

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