Charges: 17-year-old was murdered in Plymouth over a pair of shoes

Sirleaf turned himself in last week and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Augustus Matthew Sirleaf/Plymouth Police Department

A 17-year-old was shot three times at point-blank range near a Plymouth apartment complex last week during an attempted robbery.

Yaseen Thomas Johnson was shot twice in the head and once in the chest by 19-year-old Augustus Matthew Sirleaf in a parking lot near the Talus Apartments on Nov. 14 just before 6 p.m., according to charges filed Monday.

The charges say Sirleaf and his accomplice, 19-year-old Hans Madave, planned to trick Johnson into buying a pair of sneakers that they never intended to give him.

Johnson was seated in the front passenger seat of a friend’s vehicle during the robbery. Madave sat behind him while Sirleaf was seated on the rear driver’s side.

Sirleaf let Johnson look at one of the shoes; Johnson decided he liked them and wanted to buy the pair of sneakers. Once Sirleaf had the money, he demanded Johnson hand over the shoe. Johnson refused and so Sirleaf shot him three times, the charges say.

Sirleaf allegedly told his accomplices that he “had no choice but to shoot.”

Johnson was already dead when police arrived. Responding officers observed “blood and what appeared to be brain matter on the center console,” according to the charges.

Sirleaf turned himself in last week and has been charged with second-degree murder. As of Tuesday morning, Madave was still on the run.

A third suspect, identified in the complaint as L.W., was arrested last week by Plymouth police and booked at Hennepin County Jail on probable cause murder. However, L.W. has now been released without charges, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis.

The complaint says L.W. was the driver of the getaway vehicle and participated in a Facetime call with Sirleaf and Madave to plan the robbery.


Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.