Prosecutors have charged a teenager in the shooting death of 25-year-old Mustafa Ali last week, in the latest sign that an ongoing conflict between rival East African gangs is spilling into north Minneapolis.
Police say Mahad Ali, 18, killed Mustafa Ali (no apparent relation) during a shootout that left Mahad Ali seriously wounded in the 2300 block of N. Aldrich Avenue, in the Hawthorne neighborhood, on Friday evening. Mahad Ali, who was arrested earlier this week, remained in the Hennepin County jail Tuesday after being charged with second-degree murder. No attorney was listed in court records.
According to the criminal complaint, officers responding to a gunfire report Friday were told that a victim had left the area in a red Chevy Impala. When police caught up to car on Lyndale Avenue, they found Mustafa Ali — a high-ranking member of a Somali gang — inside suffering from three gunshot wounds to the chest. Officers rushed to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene, according to prosecutors.
A gray Nissan Altima that appeared to be following the Impala showed up at HCMC some time later, carrying two members of a rival Cedar-Riverside neighborhood gang, prosecutors said. Shortly after that, Mahad Ali showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound that required surgery, they said.
After interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, detectives learned that earlier that night the two members of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood gang had driven Mahad Ali to the area where the shooting occurred so he could carry out a drug deal. Within a minute of arriving, Mustafa Ali reportedly approached the vehicle and he and Mahad Ali exchanged fire, though it was not clear who shot first.
Mahad Ali’s mother told detectives that her son and the victim had “a beef” that stretched back months, prosecutors said.
The slaying was the latest in a bitter feud between Cedar-Riverside neighborhood gangs and their rivals, who claim the area around Karmel Mall. But police and community leaders say that some of the bloodshed has shifted to the city’s North Side in recent months.
In an apparently unrelated incident in September, the father of a high-ranking Somali gang member was killed in a shooting that was apparently staged to look like a home invasion, police say.