A motorist with a permit to carry a firearm fatally shot another driver during a confrontation after their vehicles struck each other at a Rochester intersection Sunday morning.
Muhammed Rahim, 17, of Rochester, was killed, authorities said. The shooter, a 25-year-old man from Rochester, had his permit to carry a firearm with him. Police recovered the 9-millimeter handgun he had with him.
The gunman is being held in the Olmsted County jail on suspicion of murder. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.
Rahim was in a vehicle with another 17-year-old male and two females, ages 18 and 16, police said. The gunman was alone in his vehicle.
Police said Rahim tried to make a right turn from East River Road onto 31st Street and slid into the ditch about 8:20 a.m. The man in the other vehicle took evasive action and was almost hit by Rahim’s car, police said.
Rahim reversed out of the ditch and hit the other vehicle. He and the other 17-year-old got out of the vehicle and confronted the other driver, police said.
“Based on statements [given to officers],” police continued, “this does not appear to be a road-rage type incident.”
Police did not say more about what prompted the gunman to shoot, but police Capt. John Sherwin told the Rochester Post-Bulletin that there was “some posturing and words exchanged,” and that Rahim approached the other driver.
“There is a self-defense claim being made by [the other driver] at this time, that he was in fear and that’s why he shot the victim,” Sherwin told the newspaper.
Sherwin said the driver of the other vehicle was on his way to referee a youth basketball game when the crash and shooting happened. He does not have a criminal record.
“This is an incredible and unfortunate set of circumstances for everyone involved,” Sherwin told the newspaper.
Police said they are looking for witnesses to the crash or the shooting.