St. Cloud man gets life in prison for part in 'assassin-like' Moorhead shooting
Ibrahim Isaac maintained his innocence before being sentenced for helping Idris Abdillahi Haji-Mohamed, of Rochester, allegedly kill Abdi Mohamed Abdi.
MOORHEAD — A 31-year-old who helped a Rochester, Minnesota, man in what a judge called an "assassin-like" Moorhead shooting has been sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Clay County Judge Greta Smolnisky sentenced Ibrahim Abdiaziz Isaac, of St. Cloud, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, to life without parole for aiding and abetting murder, the maximum punishment for the first-degree felony.
In letters to the court, Isaac asked for a new trial.
The sentencing comes more than a year after the Sept. 10, 2021, shooting death of 32-year-old Abdi Mohamed Abdi. Prosecutors alleged 28-year-old Idris Abdillahi Haji-Mohamed shot Abdi multiple times while chasing him in a Moorhead apartment parking lot at 17th Street South and 30th Avenue South.
Court documents alleged Haji-Mohamed planned the shooting, though a motive has not been made clear.
Smolnisky found Isaac guilty in mid-December for his part in the shooting. Haji-Mohamed drove from Burnsville to St. Cloud to meet Isaac, court documents said.
The two then drove to Fargo, prosecutors said. Isaac bought a black 2015 Chrysler 200 there and gave it to Haji-Mohamed, according to court documents.
Haji-Mohamed then drove past a Casey’s in Moorhead where a Toyota Solera that Abdi was in was parked, court documents said. After parking at an apartment complex north of the gas station, Haji-Mohamed walked to the Casey’s, talked with people in the Toyota and returned to his Chrysler, court documents said.
As the Toyota left the gas station, the Chrysler pursued the vehicle to the Griffin Court Apartments in Moorhead, court documents said. That’s where Haji-Mohamed chased Abdi on foot while firing his gun, according to a criminal complaint.
Haji-Mohamed fired more shots into Abdi after the victim fell to the ground, court documents said.
Smolnisky called the shooting “assassin-like in its nature,” according to court documents.
Isaac elected to go to trial without a jury and instead let Smolnisky decide whether he was guilty. After an eight-day trial, Smolnisky determined Isaac knew Haji-Mohamed was allegedly going to kill Abdi and that Isaac helped in the killing.
“Without his assistance, it could have never happened,” Clay County prosecutor Brian Melton said.
Isaac initially was charged with second-degree aiding and abetting, which carried a maximum punishment of 40 years in prison. A grand jury indicted him on the harsher first-degree charge in November 2021.
Melton and Abdi’s sister, Anisa Aden, both asked for the maximum punishment. The sister said her brother’s death has been hard on her entire family.
Without Abdi, her family has struggled financially and emotionally, Aden said. Their mother’s health has declined since Abdi’s death.
“In a way, it is like we have lost her, too,” she said.
In a statement read by defense attorney Stormy Vickers, Isaac called Abdi’s death a tragedy and terrible loss. But he said he was not guilty.
“This is not justice,” he said in the statement. “This is an abomination.”
Isaac did not address the court directly.
Haji-Mohamed initially was arrested on a second-degree murder charge but was released in September 2021 from the Clay County Jail on a $1 million bond. A grand jury indicted Haji-Mohamed in December 2021 on a first-degree murder charge, sending him back to jail on a stiffer bond of $750,000.
He posted that amount the same month.
Haji-Mohamed remains in custody at the Hennepin County Jail on a $2 million bond for another second-degree murder charge. Prosecutors alleged he shot a man several times on Dec. 30, 2022, near Sixth Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.
Police found the dead man in a vehicle with a wad of $100 bills in the passenger seat and a handgun tucked between the driver seat and center console, according to court documents.
Haji-Mohamed told officers multiple versions of events leading to the shooting before telling investigators he was trying to buy drugs from the man he allegedly shot, court documents said. He claimed the other man ordered him out of the car at gunpoint, a criminal complaint said. The two changed spots so the other man was in the driver's seat, court documents said.
Haji-Mohamed then said he shot the man because he was angry the man was taking his vehicle, according to court documents.
Melton told The Forum he is working to get Haji-Mohamed back to Clay County to face prosecution in the Abdi shooting. That could happen as early as Feb. 13, Melton said.
The prosecutor also said he plans to ask for a higher bond.