A 21-year-old man was charged Wednesday with fatally shooting a downtown Minneapolis apartment resident in the head over the weekend and then throwing the gun from a balcony down to the roof of the WCCO-TV building below.
Mohamed A.S. Zaher of Minneapolis was charged with second-degree unintentional murder and first-degree manslaughter in connection with the shooting of Ahmed Elsaied, 31, about 7:45 p.m. Sunday in the building at Marquette Avenue and 10th Street S.
Zaher was arrested in the building's lobby soon after the shooting and remains jailed ahead of a court appearance Thursday. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
According to the charges:
Officers arrived at the building, where witnesses told them about a man who threw a gun from a 13th-floor balcony onto the WCCO roof.
Police found Zaher in the apartment building lobby with blood on his clothing and hands.
Officers entered Elsaied's apartment and saw him on the floor, suffering from a gunshot wound to the side of the head. Elsaied was taken by emergency responders to HCMC and died there about 45 minutes later, the Medical Examiner's Office said.
Zaher told police that he and Elsaied were friends and that he had been staying at the apartment for the past several months.
He first explained to the officers that he left the apartment for about 15 minutes and returned to see a man in a ski mask running from the unit. He said he went in the apartment, saw Elsaied was shot, picked up the gun and inexplicably threw it off the balcony.
Informed that witnesses contradicted that account, Zaher said he was handling the gun and "while trying to pull the slide back … he had his finger on the trigger, and the gun went off," the charges read.