A St. Paul man known to have associated with gangs was convicted Thursday of attempted second-degree murder of a rival gang member outside a Minneapolis food store.
The jury deliberated for about five hours in the case against 25-year-old Zakaria Yusuf. It also found him guilty of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, but acquitted him of first-degree attempted murder.
He will be sentenced July 1. The state’s sentencing guidelines recommend 14 to 17 years in prison.
“While we are disappointed about the ongoing gun violence, we are resolute that we will meet these challenges to public safety aggressively,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
According to the criminal complaint and testimony in court, the victim, a member of the Somali Outlawz Gang, was standing outside the store at 201 W. Lake St. on Sept. 22, talking with two friends. Yusuf approached, pulled a gun from his waistband and fired it, hitting the victim in the arm.
As the victim ran into the store, Yusuf kept firing, hitting the victim several more times. The victim collapsed and Yusuf came inside and fired one more time, with the bullet hitting the victim’s arm when he threw it across his head for protection. He was hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center and was later discharged.
Yusuf was known to associate with a gang in St. Paul as well as Somali gangs in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area.