Food store shooter sentenced to 18 years


Zakaria Yusuf will spend more than 18 years in prison for what a Hennepin County prosecutor called a brazen and unprovoked shooting at a Minneapolis food store.

Yusuf, 25, of St. Paul, was sentenced Monday to 219 months for his conviction for attempted second-degree murder and 60 months in prison for felon in possession of a gun.  Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel Moreno’s sentence was the maximum allowed under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Moreno noted that Yusuf continues to be arrogant and to have a complete disregard for other people’s lives.

A Hennepin County jury convicted Yusuf in June. According to the criminal complaint and testimony at the trial, 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, who was known to associate with the St. Pistol Boys gang in St. Paul and Somali gangs in the Cedar-Riverside area, 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 fired one more time from the doorway, 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.

However, the victim refused to cooperate with the prosecution and was placed under court-ordered electronic home monitoring to be sure he would show up at the trial. The victim did not appear at the sentencing. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Vicki Vial Taylor pointed out at the hearing that the Somali community, the court and Minneapolis police cared more about this case, and Yusuf’s violent behavior, than the victim.

“Every day he is in prison is a day the community is safer,” she said in court while asking for the longest possible sentence.