Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Homicide victim was 'in the wrong place at the wrong time,' police say

Homicide victim was 'in the wrong place at the wrong time,' police say

Four men are in custody awaiting second-degree murder charges in connection to Monday night's fatal shooting in northwest Rochester.

The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. in the 2800 block of Charles Court Northwest. When police arrived they found the victim, identified as 40-year-old Ahmed Muafaq Abdulhu Al Naddf, lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his chest. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Surveillance video led officers to a nearby apartment, where they found three of the four suspects: Eric Tyler Lee, 25, Sao Yim Jr., 24, and Traequan Bamlounghong, 23 — all of Rochester. The fourth suspect, 24-year-old Deante Stanifer, was located and arrested Tuesday morning not far from the crime scene, in the 3000 block of 25th Street Northwest. According to police, Stanifer has addresses listed in both Rochester and Minneapolis.

Police are now investigating what led up to the confrontation. The suspects told authorities the victim had bumped into their vehicle. A preliminary investigation, however, found no evidence that a collision took place. 

"We don't believe that this victim had any previous contact with these individuals," Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 

Investigators are still determining who pulled the trigger. Because all four individuals were believed to be involved in the incident, Sherwin said is likely each will face a second-degree murder charge.

Making matters more disturbing, surveillance video shows the victim being robbed as he lay dead on the sidewalk. "After he was shot and on the ground, two of the suspects are seen going through the victim's pockets," said Sherwin. Those items, along with a firearm believed to have been used in the shooting, were later recovered in the suspects' apartment.

Because they can only get one side of the story, Sherwin acknowledged that determining a motive will be difficult. He called the incident a "tragedy," adding that there is no reason to believe that drugs — or any other suspicious activity on the part of the victim — played a role in the shooting.

"There is nothing here to indicate the victim did anything wrong but be in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Sherwin.

Al Naddf, who came to America from Iraq as a refugee, leaves behind a wife and two small children. In interviews with the Post-Bulletin, friends and co-coworkers described him as a "great family man" who at times worked several jobs with hopes of providing a better life for his family.

Ahmed Al Juboori, one of Al Naddf's friends, told a local TV station: "Today we lost a brother, friend, coworker; he was a great person ... He loved his family, his kids, his wife, his job, so today is a big loss."

A fundraising campaign has been set up to support Al Naddf's family.

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