Charges: Elderly Somali woman pistol whipped, robbed in Cedar-Riverside on way home from bank

A 76-year-old Somali woman was shot and nearly beaten to death outside her apartment in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood Saturday afternoon as she was returning home from the bank with her rent money. A 21-year-old Brooklyn Park woman has been charged in the attack.  

Shortly after 12 p.m., Minneapolis police officers responded to an apartment on the 1700 block of 22nd Street East where they found an elderly woman who had been "shot and pistol whipped so severely that a metal piece of the gun broke off and was found at the scene," according to a news release. 

The suspect had fled the scene with the victim’s purse containing $900. 

The victim was taken to Hennepin Health Care with a fractured skull and a brain bleed from the beating as well as a gunshot wound to the hip. 

The suspect, identified as Da’Seanna Williams, was arrested on Wednesday. She is now charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

According to the charges, the victim had gone to the bank that morning to withdraw her rent money. She told police that when she was returning to the apartment she shares with her adult son, there was a woman following her in the apartment building parking lot. 

The woman, now identified as Williams, followed the victim into the apartment building and rode the elevator with her. When the victim got to her apartment door, Williams pulled out a handgun and shot her in the hip. She then hit the victim several times over the head with the gun and grabbed her purse. 

The victim’s son heard the gunshot through the apartment door, then saw his mother enter the apartment injured and bleeding, the charges said. 

In an interview, Williams admitted to shooting and beating the victim and stealing her purse. 

Police said Williams is also suspected in at least two other robberies in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood that targeted Somali residents. Investigations into those robberies are ongoing.