"I owed him money," Iman Abucar-Hagi Iman said of the now 25-year-old man he shot at close range last August at the Meadow Park Apartments.
The admission came as Iman, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in Olmsted County District Court to a charge of first-degree assault causing great bodily harm for the Aug. 7, 2019, incident.
Iman was charged with a total of five felonies in connection to the incident that left the 25-year-old man a quadriplegic and in need of round-the-clock medical care. The remaining four charges will likely be dismissed at sentencing.
Rochester police were called around 9:40 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2019, for a report of a shooting. Officers found the man unresponsive and covered in blood on the third floor of an apartment building at the Meadow Park Apartments complex, 1430 Fourth Ave. SE.
As part of the plea, Iman said he and the man wrestled, and when he was pushed off the man, he shot him. When asked why he shot the man, he said, "We had a problem over some money." When asked to clarify, Iman said he owed the man money.
Judge Joseph Chase revoked Iman's bail in that case and ordered him held until sentencing. Iman had been held on $5 million unconditional bail since Aug. 21, 2019.
A second man, 28-year-old Abdirahman Abdullahi, is also charged in connection with that incident. Abdullahi pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He has been held on $5 million unconditional bail since Sept. 11, 2019. A trial date has not been scheduled for Abdullahi.
Iman also pleaded guilty to felony charges of possession of ammunition/firearm with a previous conviction or adjudicated for a crime of violence and threats of violence. Five other felony charges in that case are expected to be dismissed at sentencing.
Those charges stem from an April 2019 incident. Rochester police were called around 10:50 p.m. on April 24, 2019, to the 3100 block of Oxford Lane Northwest for reports of multiple gunshots. Two people suffered minor injuries.
As part of the plea deal, Iman admitted that he not only pointed the gun at the two people, but chased them and ultimately fired the .40 caliber pistol. Iman said he believed he fired "eight to nine times."
Prosecutors filed paperwork to dismiss a third case charging Iman with gross misdemeanor third-degree riot and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Iman is scheduled to be sentenced by Chase on Dec. 7. A joint recommendation on sentencing was not presented as part of the plea deal, but sentencing guidelines for the first-degree assault charge outline a 104- to 146-month prison sentence.
The family of the victim in that case said they are frustrated with the plea and do not feel it comes close to a proper punishment.