Charges in Mpls. triple shooting delayed again

Seward Market
Seward Market and Halal Meat in Minneapolis was the site of a triple homicide Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2009. Photo was taken Jan. 7, 2009.
MPR Photo/Jeff Thompson

Charges in the shooting last week at a Minneapolis corner market that left three men dead aren't expected until Thursday.

Charges against two 17-year-old boys had been expected Wednesday, but a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Attorney's office said prosecutors have gotten a second extension in the case. Charges must now be filed by 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Seward Market and Halal Meat was scheduled to reopen Wednesday afternoon for the first time since the shooting. A man who worked at the store, his cousin and a customer were all gunned down. Two of the men were Somali, and the third was from Ethiopia.

Police arrested the two suspects last weekend, but it's taken investigators some time to piece together all the details from witness statements and surveillance video.

"It's a complex case," said Sgt. Bill Palmer, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Adbi Mohamed, a spokesman for the family that owns the store, said the nearby Somali community fears the crime may be gang-related.

"We suspect these two criminals are members of a gang group, and that's one reason the community was asking if there were other people in fault," Mohamed said.

This is the second extension a judge has granted prosecutors. Police say the case is complex.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he's confident prosecutors are moving as fast as they can.

"Too often we've seen situations where people have tried to rush things and not get it right," Rybak said. "Every single thing here is being done here to get justice and peace to the people here and if that takes longer or shorter that's up to the county attorney and they're doing good work and I just support that."

(MPR reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.)