Charges: Apartment shooting leads to gun tossed onto TV station

A man has been charged after a shooting in a Minneapolis apartment led to him trying to hide the alleged weapon by tossing it onto the roof of a TV news station.

Mohamed Ahmed Said Zaher, 21, of Minneapolis has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree manslaughter for his alleged role in the shooting death of Ahmed Elsaied on Aug. 7.

Minneapolis police responded around 7:45 p.m. to reports of a shooting inside an apartment building at 10th Street South and Marquette Avenue.

According to police, a man, later identified as Zaher, was seen throwing a gun from the balcony of the apartment building onto the rooftop of WCCO below prior to their arrival.

Officers initially located Zaher in the lobby of the apartment building with blood spatter on his hands and clothing. He was upset, police said, and informed officers that his friend was shot on the 13th floor. 

He initially claimed that a man with a black mask ran by, and then he found his friend had been shot, according to the charges.

Police entered the apartment and located one victim, identified as Elsaied, that was unresponsive on the floor of the living room. He had a single gunshot wound to the side of his head, charges said. 

Officers also located a firearm magazine on the floor near him before he was taken to the hospital where he was later declared dead.

Changing stories

Prior to police arriving to the scene, a witness who lives in the apartment next to Elsaied reported hearing a gunshot, then screams.

When she went to her balcony, she saw Zaher step out onto the balcony with blood spatter on him and saying, "no, no, no" before he threw the gun off.

Police claim that after speaking with Zaher, he said he left Elsaied in the apartment for approximately 15 minutes while he visited another friend in the building. When he returned, he saw a man wearing a ski mask running. 

When he entered the apartment he found Elsaied dead, a gun and magazine, then "went crazy" – picking up the gun and throwing it off the balcony "without thinking," he told police.

When confronted with witness statements contradicting his timeline, Zaher allegedly changed his statement, saying he instead had his finger on the trigger of the gun when it "accidentally went off."