A Minneapolis man is facing a charge of attempted second-degree murder after allegedly shooting at a Minneapolis park police officer late Tuesday night near the Lake Harriet boat launch and Bandshell.
Muhyedin Abdiziz Abdirahman, 24, is also facing one count of felony first-degree assault involving the use of deadly force against a police officer in the incident that also involved return gunfire from Officer Karl Zabinski, who was identified by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) in a statement on Friday.
Around 11:53 p.m., according to police dispatch audio, a park police officer indicated to dispatch that he was out on a suspicious vehicle at the Lake Harriet boat launch, which is located on the 4100 block of West Lake Harriet Parkway.
Two minutes later, the officer requested the dispatcher to send another squad to assist, according to further audio. Before the dispatcher even completed airing the request for another squad to respond, the officer called out, “shots fired, shots fired.”
The officer aired that he was not injured but that the suspect had fled and he could no longer see the suspect. The suspect was described as a black or Somali male with facial hair and a ball cap who was armed with a handgun.
Numerous squads responded to the area and a request was made by a sergeant to get help from St. Louis Park and Edina police departments as well as a drone operator.
The suspect was eventually located and taken into custody apparently without incident at about 12:10 a.m., and was not injured, according to audio. Officers also later indicated that the suspect’s gun had not been found following a search at the time.
Abdirahman was charged in Hennepin County District Court on Friday. The charges reiterate that the officer was patrolling the area and discovered an unoccupied vehicle which was blocking the boat launch.
The officer exited his marked squad to investigate and encountered the suspect, later identified as Abdirahman, who was standing in the shadows and pacing. The suspect said the vehicle was his, but when asked if he was the registered owner, Abdirahman replied, “none of your business,” and refused to identify himself.
Abdirahman attempted to get into the vehicle and the officer reached for his arm to stop him. Abdirahman pulled away and reached for his waistband and took several steps back. Dashcam video, which has not been released at this point, showed Abdirahman holding a handgun. As the officer called for a back-up squad, Abdirahman fired his gun in the direction of the officer. The sound of several shots was captured on the officer’s body-worn camera, footage also not released yet. The officer returned fire, the complaint says.
The complaint states that Abdirahman was found sitting on a bench near 47th Street and West Lake Harriet Parkway. When officers asked if he’d witnessed anything, he said he was involved. He was taken into custody, and when officers asked him where the gun was, he said he dropped it.
Teams were seen searching in the area into the day on Wednesday, including a Hennepin County dive team. The complaint says that a police dog eventually located the .40 caliber Glock handgun under a pile of leaves near the bench where Abdirahman was taken into custody.
Three bullet strikes were found on Officer Zabinski’s squad car following the incident. Police recovered six .40 caliber casings that the complaint says ballistic testing matched to the gun recovered. Three 9mm casings were also recovered which is consistent with the firearm Officer Zabinski carried.
The MPRB released a statement Friday saying they were “thankful that Officer Zabinski was not injured during this violent attack.” They said Officer Zabinski started with the Park Police Department in 2018 as a park patrol agent and in 2020 he was promoted to police officer. Officer Zabinski has received several awards in his time with the Park Police Department, including being named the 2022 Park Police “Officer of the Year.” MPRB also thanked the Minneapolis Police Department for their investigation and assistance in the case.
Abdirahman remains in custody on $1 million bail, and his next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.
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