Sao Yim Jr. was sure that someone had just hit his car that he parked outside, police say.
Yim Jr. was smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol with three other friends in his girlfriend’s apartment on Monday night, according to a criminal complaint filed by police. The 25-year-old could see his white Honda from his girlfriend’s apartment, police say, and watched as the man he suspected of hitting his car parked in a nearby lot and approached the vehicle.
He and his companions confronted 40-year-old Ahmed Muafaq Abdulhu Al Naddf. The two sides began to argue, police say, and that’s when Yim Jr. brandished a semi-automatic handgun.
Naddf whipped out his cell phone and began to record the confrontation in response, the complaint states, and two of Yim Jr.’s friends ran away. But just as he and his other friend — 25-year-old Eric Lee — seemed to be walking away as well, Yim Jr. fired his gun and hit Naddf in the chest, police say.
A father of three who came here from Iraq in 2014, Naddf died from the gunshot wounds, according to GoMn.com. Police told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that there wasn’t any apparent damage to either car.
Surveillance footage shows that Yim Jr. and Lee headed toward the apartment complex they came from after the bullets flew, police say, before quickly returning to the scene of the alleged murder and taking Naddf’s phone. They are then seen going back to the apartment again for good, the complaint says.
Officers say they went to the apartment on Monday night, locating and detaining Yim Jr., Lee, and 23-year-old Traequan Sayla Bamlounghong, one of the two men who police say ran away before shots were fired. Naddf’s phone was found in a heating vent in an upstairs bathroom, police say, while Yim Jr.’s handgun was stashed in the same location.
Through interviews with the suspects, police say they discovered that 24-year-old Deante Jewel Stanifer was the other man who fled the scene, according to KIMT. Police arrested Stanifer, who didn’t return to the apartment complex, on Tuesday.
Yim Jr. faces felony charges of second-degree murder without intent and possession of ammunition/firearm, according to the complaint, and Lee has a single felony count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
Both Stanifer and Bamlounghong do not have any official charges yet, according to court records reviewed by KIMT. But the outlet reported that the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center website says they are in custody for second-degree murder.
Zaid Al Showbacki, a friend of Naddf, told The Associated Press that the 40-year-old’s death was especially tragic considering why he came to the U.S. in the first place.
"They escaped war for a safe place. Ironic," he said. Rochester’s Iraqi community is “really shocked — they have this sense that they're not safe here anymore."