Shootings leave Somalis fearful of gang activity

Published 8:08 am Monday, September 2, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The fatal shootings of three young men this summer has some Somalis worried that gang activity is picking up among young people in their community, but authorities have not said whether the deaths are gang-related.

The deaths — two in Minneapolis and one in Burnsville — have marked the worst string of violence among Somalis since a rash of gang-related killings in 2007 and 2008.

Police in the two communities wouldn’t comment about the shootings to the newspaper. But several members of the Somali community said they think there is cause for concern.

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“We thought this thing went away,” Abdirizak Bihi, a Somali activist, said about the killings.

The trouble started June 1, when Mohamed O. Aden, of Minneapolis, died after he was shot several times while seated in a car. In July, 26-year-old Muhyadin Mohamud Farah of Minneapolis was fatally shot in the chest inside his apartment. On Aug. 13, someone shot and killed Abdifatah Ahmed Mahumod, 23, and wounded another man in a Burnsville townhouse complex.

There haven’t been any criminal charges filed in any of the cases.

Some Somalis said the killings hearken back to 2007 and 2008, when there were seven gang-related deaths in a 10-month span.

The three men killed this summer were known among other Somali youth, said Abdul Mohamed, a youth worker with Ka Joog, a Somali outreach organization in Minneapolis.

Mohamed said he was concerned about youth getting involved in shootings.