A 20-year-old Minneapolis man was charged this week with second-degree murder and three counts of first-degree aggravated robbery in connection to an April 2021 armed robbery in south Minneapolis that left two dead.
Jovan Joshua Knight, who Hennepin County prosecutors say is a known member of a violent street gang, is accused of taking part in an aggravated robbery that led to two shootings and a two-vehicle crash near S. 14th Avenue and E. 29th Street. Knight was also charged in September for another shooting and aggravated robberies and remains in the Carver County Jail.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police responded to the area around 2:20 a.m. One gunshot victim who was struck in the leg told police that he and two friends went to eat dinner and parked his vehicle on the avenue just north of Lake Street. He rode to the restaurant in a friend's car and, when they returned to 14th Avenue, they passed Knight sitting in one of two idling cars.
When the victim was about to exit his friend's car and get in his own vehicle, Knight's caravan pulled up at a high rate of speed and blocked the car.
A group of at least four suspects exited the two vehicles. They were armed and wearing face masks when they demanded the victim and his two friends hand over their phones and wallets. The victim was shot in the leg despite following commands. He told police that the gunshot seemed to "confuse" the suspects and everyone started running. The victim limped away and hid until his friends found him. While hiding, he heard more gunshots.
One block north of the armed robbery, officers located the body of Ahmed M. Badal, 35, of Minneapolis, in the street. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.
The investigation determined that Badal's vehicle was struck by one of the vehicles used by Knight's accomplices during the armed robbery.
An accomplice identified by authorities as Jaden M. Blackmon, 15, of St. Paul, was shot in the chest during the armed robbery and died.
Police located seven discarded 9mm gun casings and the victim's phone at the crash scene. Blackmon was found inside the suspect's vehicle.
Surveillance video shows that Knight's vehicle approached the intersection 10 seconds after the crash. Someone exited the vehicle, quickly drew a gun from their waistband and started firing at Badal.
Knight was charged with three aggravated robberies and second-degree murder while committing a felony.
Even though Knight said he didn't fire the deadly shots, "it was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the armed aggravated robbery" he participated in, the charges read.