Jury convicts man for Lake Street shooting

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A jury convicted a St. Paul man of attempted second-degree murder of a rival gang member outside of a Lake Street food store, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

The jury began deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and finished their work about 3:45 p.m. in the case against 25-year-old Zakaria Yusuf. The jury also found him guilty of prohibited person in possession of a firearm. They acquitted him of first-degree attempted murder.

Sentencing was set for July 1 and based on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommendations, he is likely to receive 14 to 17 years in prison.

“While we are disappointed about the on-going gun violence, we are resolute that we will meet these challenges to public safety aggressively,” Freeman said. “Mindless gun violence needs to stop.”

According to the criminal complaint and testimony in court, the victim, who is a member of Somali Outlawz Gang, was standing outside the store at 201 Lake Street West on Sept. 22, talking with two of his friends. Yusuf walked up to the group, pulled a gun from his waistband and fired it at the victim, hitting him in the arm.

The victim ran into the store and Yusuf kept firing, hitting the victim several more times. The victim collapsed on the store’s floor and Yusuf came inside and fired one more time, with the bullet hitting the victim’s arm when he threw it across his head for protection. He was hospitalized at the Hennepin County Medical Center but was eventually discharged.

Yusuf was known to associate with the St. Pistol Boys gang in St. Paul as well as Somali gangs in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area.