Four additional adults were charged Wednesday morning with riotous behavior while using illegal fireworks on the night of July 4th in Minneapolis' Dinkytown area. Charges have included rioting, and in some cases, shooting fireworks at other people.

So far, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office has charged people with offenses including second-degree rioting while armed with a dangerous weapon — a felony — and fleeing police. Charges against others could still come as the County Attorney's Office continues to review the late-night incidents, spokesman Daniel Borgertpoepping said.

Although the night had fewer fights and less gun violence than the city has seen in recent years on July 4th, Hassanen Mohamed, executive director of the Minnesota Somali Community Center, said he recognizes it's still a serious issue. Mohamed said he thinks part of the solution is working to intervene and divert the participants from going in the first place.

"We want to make sure we address this behavior upstream; we don't want it to be a public safety issue, and that's what we've been pushing for with having programs and activities," he said.

Police initially responded to reports of a crowd shooting fireworks at others in Dinkytown on the night of July 4th, according to the criminal complaint.

Drone footage showed people shooting commercial-grade fireworks "into the air, toward others, toward vehicles, and eventually at uniformed officers when they moved into the area," according to the charges. One officer reported seeing a juvenile light a mortar-style firework and throw it at police. The mortar landed under a parked car, blew up and burned one officer's skin, creating a numbing sensation that lasted hours, according to the complaint.

Following the July 4 celebrations, more than two dozen young adults were arrested after midnight on Friday. Of the arrests, 27 were adults and eight were juveniles, ages 15 to 23. Mohamed said the gatherings are advertised on social media, encouraging and pressuring people to attend. The nonprofit center Mohamed works for has worked to find activities and connect with social workers who work with the participants.

"We want to make sure they get the resources they need, that their parents get the resources they need, and that we address this," he said.

The four charged as of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning were 18-year-olds John Mokaya Kyakango, Dawit Getenet Tessema and Charles Vincent Houska, and 19-year-old Mohamed Osmas Ahmed.

The new charges say Ahmed and Houska were part of a group throwing fireworks at officers, civilians and vehicles near the intersection of Fourth Street Southeast and 14th Avenue Southeast. Both fled on foot from police after being told they were under arrest, charges say. The complaint states that Houska threw fireworks at officers, and that police found several firecrackers inside his backpack.

Kyakango and Tessema were charged with shooting fireworks horizontally while on foot, and then shooting them out of a vehicle towards the street where people were walking. Police stopped the vehicle and arrested the two adults, and two juveniles who were in the car, charges say.

Most of those arrested were not from the Twin Cities, and included some from out of state, court records show. Two of the charged suspects — Sharif Jimale and Abdifatah Aden Bare, both 22 — were from Lewiston, Maine.

Other co-defendants charged with second-degree riot so far are:

  • 22-year-old Mahamed Youssuf Dahir.
  • 21-year-olds Zakaria Ahmed Jama, Mohamedamin Ali Nur, Abdirahman Mohamed Ali, and Ahmed Ilyas Dudeyeh.
  • 20-year-olds Abdihakim Mohamed Aden, Abdirahman Yusuf Ahmed, Rudwan Hassan, Hussein Abdi Jama, and Ahmed Adan Mohamed.
  • 19-year-olds Said Kamal Salah and Ridwan Rage Sallah.
  • And 18-year-olds Milkias Ghidei and Zakaria Esmael Umar.

Misdemeanor charges from the incidents have been referred to the city Attorney's Office, Borgertpoepping said.

Most of those charged have been released from custody.

Some who deliberately targeted people with the fireworks will be charged with felony-level assault, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara said the day after the arrests. No assault charges were filed as of Tuesday.

Star Tribune staff reporter Anna Colletto contributed to this story.