Rochester, MN – A 17-year-old motorist was fatally shot on Jan. 14, after he aggressively confronted a man whose vehicle he crashed into.
Muhammed Rahim was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the shooting, the Star Tribune reported.
The other driver, 25-year-old Alexander Weiss, said that he shot the enraged teen in self-defense, and has been charged with second-degree murder.
A Rochester Police Department (RPD) officer was on patrol at 8:20 a.m., when a motorist pulled up to him and told him that someone had been shot. At the same time, the officer’s dispatcher also sent him to a shots fired call in the same area, WCCO reported.
He arrived to find Rahim lying on the ground, and emergency personnel were performing life-saving measures.
Weiss, who was on his way to referee a youth basketball game, was still at the scene when officers arrived.
He was taken into custody, and a Glock 19 was seized from his pocket.
Weiss explained that as he was driving, he saw a car hit a sewer grate on the side of the street. As Weiss drove closer to Rahim’s vehicle, it suddenly backed up, and ran into Weiss’ car, police said.
As Weiss exited his own vehicle, Rahim jumped out of his car and charged towards him, Weiss told police.
He said that the other occupants in Rahim’s vehicle also began to threaten him when he told them he was going to contact law enforcement.
Concerned for his own safety, Weiss said he grabbed his gun and cell phone out of his own vehicle, and that Rahim proceeded to confront him.
According to a witness, Rahim got very close to Weiss and puffed out his chest during the exchange.
Weiss said he warned Rahim that officers were on their way, and that he was armed.
When the group got within approximately ten feet of him, Weiss said he pulled out his weapon.
Rahim then got into his face and spit at him, he said.
“That’s not even a real gun,” one member of the group said, according to a witness.
“I f**king dare you to do it!” Rahim said to Weiss, according to a witness.
When Rahim reached for Weiss’ weapon, he stepped back and shot the teen, he told police.
He then put his weapon back into his pocket, and called 911 for help.
“[Rahim] got out and confronted him,” one of Rahim’s passengers, Noah Dukart, told the Star Tribune. “The guy who we hit wanted to fight. My friend got in his face, and then the guy we hit pulled a gun out, and then my friend said, ‘I dare you,’ and he shot him right in the heart, and I watched him bleed out.”
“There was no physical assault, and by that I mean punches thrown,” RPD Captain John Sherwin told the Star Tribune.
“There is a self-defense claim being made by [the other driver] at this time, that he was in fear and that’s why he shot the victim,” Captain Sherwin said.
Abdulwahhab Kareem, Rahim’s father, said that he and his wife worked for the U.S. government in Iraq, but that they moved to the U.S. in 2012 after threats against his family became too severe.
He said that his son was “lovely” and “friendly.”
“One guy, like a cold-blooded killer, he killed my son,” Kareem said. “He’s no human. He’s an animal.”
Weiss had a permit to carry a firearm.
He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of Rahim’s death.