Mpls. police investigating shooting of Muslim men as possible bias crime

Jaylani Hussein
Jaylani Hussein spoke to media about the shooting of two men before Ramadan prayers, allegedly by two white men, near Dinkytown in Minneapolis.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Minneapolis police now say they're investigating the shooting of two young Muslim men early Wednesday as a possible bias crime.

Jaylani Hussein with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota said at a news conference Thursday that the men suffered non-life threatening wounds to their legs. One victim required surgery.

Hussein said the men had just finished playing basketball in Dinkytown, near 14th Ave. SE and 6th St. SE, with three other young men, and were in a car about to go to an evening Ramadan prayer service. Hussein said two men approached the parked car and made anti-Muslim remarks before one opened fire.

"This is a tragedy averted to a certain extent, Hussein said. "They're still with us. But the fact of the matter is this was an incident I think will shock the conscience of everyone in our community."

Burhan Mohumed, a friend of of one of the victims, said the young men were dressed in Muslim prayer attire, and their assailants targeted them because of their faith.

"He made it pretty clear that it wasn't a case of misunderstanding or it wasn't one of those situations where somebody felt threatened. It was an obvious attempt on their lives."

Hussein and Mohumed said the suspects are both young white men.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said police have not arrested any suspects but have made "very promising strides" in the investigation.

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