The scene where Abdirahman H. Haji-Ahmed was found dead in his parked car. / DAVID JOLES

A year and a half after a man was shot dead outside a downtown auto-body shop, Minneapolis homicide detectives are hoping that a series of text messages sent before the slaying could lead to new information to help solve the crime.

Police are examining the text message history of a woman who attempted to buy drugs from Abdirahman H. Haji-Ahmed, 26, on the night of his death, because it “may contain critical information regarding this ongoing homicide investigation,” according to a search warrant filed last month in Hennepin County District Court. Of particular interest to investigators is a string of text messages between the woman and a male relative, whom they suspect of shooting Haji-Ahmed.

The two had spoken several times before the shooting, investigators concluded, after examining the woman’s cell phone records and talking to a person with whom she had spoken to about the crime.

A department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Police found Haji-Ahmed slumped in a car parked outside Bobby and Steve's Auto World on Oct. 30, 2013 after responding to a report of shots fired, the warrant said. A witness reported hearing gunshots just before midnight, then seeing a man in a “two tone” jacket fleeing the scene a few moments later, the warrant said.

Surveillance video shows the woman’s car arriving at the auto shop near the Interstate-35W overpass shortly before the shooting and the suspected shooter getting out. Moments later, shots rang out.

At the time, there was some speculation that the shooting stemmed from a long-simmering feud between rival Somali gangs, but investigators and community leaders said they had found no such link.