A 19-year-old man has been charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old outside a Plymouth apartment complex last week during a dispute over high-end fashion sneakers.
Augustus M. Sirleaf Jr. of Plymouth was charged Monday in Hennepin County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the death on Nov. 14 of Yaseen T. Johnson, 17, of Albertville in the 9700 block of N. 37th Place.
Sirleaf turned himself in to police on Thursday after they publicized his name and photograph along with that of an alleged accomplice. Sirleaf made his first court appearance Tuesday with bail set at $1 million. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
Police said late Monday that they continue to look for Hans Madave, 19, of New Hope, who they believe also played a role in Johnson's death. A third suspect, an 18-year-old man arrested last week in Golden Valley, has since been released without charges but remains under investigation, said Police Chief Erik Fadden.
The charges said Balenciaga was the brand of the shoes at the center of the rift. Depending on the model, a pair can retail for more than $1,000.
According to the criminal complaint against Sirleaf:
Officers arrived at the parking lot and saw the fatally wounded Johnson slumped over inside a Buick SUV with bullet holes in the windshield. A male approached the officers and told them he was the driver of the SUV and that he ran from the vehicle when shots were fired.
The driver said he and Johnson came to the parking lot to buy shoes. Two men were there and got in the SUV, the driver said. Sirleaf gave Johnson one of the shoes in exchange for half the money. Sirleaf asked for the shoe back, Johnson refused and was shot by Sirleaf, the driver said.
Officers located one of the Balenciaga brand sneakers just outside the SUV and the other on the front passenger floorboard.
Surveillance video from near the shooting scene showed two people getting in a Ford SUV parked nearby containing the waiting 18-year-old. As the SUV drove off, the video revealed its license plate, allowing police to track down the driver.
The 18-year-old told police that he drove Sirleaf and Madave to meet with Johnson and plotting to rob him. After Johnson was shot, Sirleaf returned with Madave to the waiting SUV and said he had no choice but to shoot, the 18-year-old said.
Anyone who knows Madave's location or has other information about the case is being urged to call the police tip line at 763-509-5177.