Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- An auto mishap morphed into a defensive shooting in Rochester, Minnesota on Sunday, January 14th, a little after 8 a.m.
A car driven by 17 year old Muhammed Rahim, with another 17-year-old male and two teenage girls in the car, spun out of control and crashed into the side of the road in slippery conditions.
A car driven by 25 year old Alexander Weiss managed to avoid the out of control vehicle. He pulled to the side of the road to see if the people in the crashed vehicle needed assistance. Muhammed then backed up the crashed vehicle and hit Weiss' vehicle.
Weiss got out. So did Muhammed and the other male occupant. They approached Weiss and threatened him.
Weiss, a carry permit holder, retrieved a pistol and called the police. The confrontation escalated and Weiss shot Muhammed.
Two on one makes it a disparity of force situation. It is hard to know how this will play out in the courts. The statement of probable cause shows Weiss did not just “draw and fire”. Muhammed approached within inches of Weiss while the firearm was displayed.
Muhammed dared Weiss to fire. Weiss says that Muhammed attempted to grab his pistol. Muhammed's passenger said they never touched Weiss. The statements are not necessarily contradictory.
The police arrived on the scene and arrested Weiss. The police officer included the fact that Weiss had a bumper sticker on his vehicle that said “GUN CONTROL IS HITTING YOUR TARGET” in the statement of probable cause.
According to the autopsy, Rahim died from a single gunshot wound. Police say only one 911 call was received, and that came from Weiss.
The Police Department says Weiss has a permit to carry a firearm under state law and the criminal complaint says Weiss had a bumper sticker on his car saying “Gun Control Means Hitting Your Target.”
According to Rochester police, a witness to the shooting came forward and provided a statement that police say made them more confident in the second-degree murder charge.
Police say the witness was driving through the area and was a few feet away from the shooting. Police say she saw two men get into a confrontation and saw Weiss draw his weapon and fire.
Here is the statement of probable cause from the Rochester police officer.
In another interview with the startribune.com, Rochester police Captain John Sherwin made this statement:
“There was no physical assault, and by that I mean punches thrown,” Sherwin said Tuesday.
I am sure Captain Sherwin knows that punches are not necessary for physical assault. In the probable cause document, Weiss says Muhammed pushed him, as part of the confrontation.
It is interesting that Officer Brian Roussell found it worth while to include the political bumper sticker as part of the probable cause document. It is hard to see it has any relevance to the charge of 2nd degree murder. There are no statements by the two teen girls that were in the vehicle driven by Muhammed. Perhaps they did not see anything of the altercation.
Muhammed came to the U.S. from Iraq six years ago, with his family.
2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.