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Charges: Fight over driver's seat position preceded fatal shooting at Eagan gas station

The shooting happened at a Marathon gas station Friday evening.
Sakaria O. Ahmed.

Sakaria O. Ahmed.

As three men scuffled in an Eagan parking lot, a fourth individual — who'd arrived at the scene with one of the others — stepped out of a sedan and shot one of the men in the head.

That's according to criminal charges filed in Dakota County Tuesday against Sakaria O. Ahmed, with prosecutors alleging the 31-year-old fired a single bullet, then fled to a nearby outlet mall. The Friday evening shooting at the Marathon gas station on Silver Bell Road killed 33-year-old Eagan man Faisal Abukar.

He died Saturday at the hospital, with the medical examiner citing a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the charges.

Authorities were able to piece together what happened with surveillance video, which showed portions of the scuffle that preceded the shooting, as well as witness accounts.

One of those witnesses was directly involved in the altercation. Here's what the man told investigators, according to the complaint:

The witness drove with Abukar to the gas station that evening, and the two planned to meet with people the witness did not know. After they arrived, a sedan pulled up next to them. A passenger got out and entered their vehicle, and proceeded to get into an argument with the witness about how far back his seat was.

The witness, Abukar and the sedan passenger then got out of the vehicle, with the sedan passenger punching the witness and throwing him to the ground. As they fought, the sedan's driver — Ahmed — exited that vehicle.

He pulled out a gun and shot Abukar in the head. 

The witness ran to a nearby McDonald's and saw Ahmed pointing a gun at him. He then watched from inside the restaurant as Ahmed and the sedan passenger got back into the vehicle, stopped briefly in a nearby parking lot, then drove off and crashed about 100 yards away. 

He then saw Ahmed get out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand and run toward the outlet mall.

A witness who was pumping gas at the time provided a similar account, saying four men were talking between two cars when one pulled out a gun and shot another, according to the criminal complaint.

Police officers that arrived on the scene that evening found Abukar on the ground with a gunshot wound, and a discharged cartridge casing nearby. 

Officers arrested Ahmed minutes later at the outlet mall. In his pocket he had a handgun with a round in the chamber, loaded with ammunition matching the cartridge casing found near the scene, the charges state.

Authorities could not find the passenger that was said to have assaulted the first witness. 

“Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Faisal Abukar for their great loss," said Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena in a statement.

Ahmed, from Burnsville, is charged with second-degree murder. He made his first appearance Tuesday. Bail was set at $1.5 million without conditions and $750,000 with conditions. The Dakota County Attorney's Office says his next court date is Feb. 16, 2022.

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