A St. Paul man pleaded guilty Friday to fatally shooting another man last year near Concordia University in St. Paul.
Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, 26, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to first-degree manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm. Abdullahi was originally charged with second-degree murder, but the count was reduced to manslaughter as part of a plea deal.
The deal also calls for Abdullahi to be sentenced concurrently to five years on each conviction.
Abdullahi admitted Friday that he shot Jeffery Earl Willingham, 24, about 10:54 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2014. Willingham died the next morning.
Abdullahi said his car broke down near a park and that he went up to a group of men looking for help but turned away when he didn’t recognize any of them.
He told Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Kelly Olmstead that he was walking away from the group when he heard a few men running up behind him.
“They were totally fired up,” Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi said he walked away with his hands in the air but eventually told them, in hopes they would back off, that he had a permit to carry a gun. But, he said, the men continued to follow him and he ran.
Abdullahi said that he fired a warning shot in the air, which caused the men to laugh. The men also mockingly asked him to shoot them. He said he ran from three men for fear they would take his gun and harm him.
Abdullahi said he eventually fired at the men as he tired while they chased him.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Abdullahi, a friend of Willingham’s told police that Abdullahi yelled at them for no reason.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22.