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Gunman sought for shooting homeless man brushing his teeth at library, police say

CBS/AP

CBS/AP

(CBS) MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis police are looking for a man who allegedly shot a homeless person in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down, while the victim was brushing his teeth in the bathroom of a public library, CBS Minnesota reports.

The incident reportedly happened while patrons were reading nearby in the basement of Franklin Avenue Library. A shot rang out from the bathroom Wednesday morning, causing senior librarian Nancy Thornbury to run to the men's bathroom.

"We heard the noise and we ran to the hallway," Thornbury said. "And there was the victim in the bathroom."

Thornbury and other staff members found a homeless Sudanese man on the floor. She said the 42-year-old victim muttered about how he was going to die, and asked if there was a Muslim who could offer him prayers, CBS Minnesota reported. Ahmed Ahmed, a library employee, came to his side.

"And he requested if I can recite the last rites for him," Ahmed said. "When I recited the last rites for him, he got some comfort from that and that's when he opened up."

The victim told police his attacker mumbled something prior to the shooting. Police said they believed the incident was an apparent robbery attempt, but nothing was stolen from the victim.

"What led up to the shooting, the victim has no idea," Minneapolis Police Lt. Mike Fossum said. "There was no argument, no cross words exchanged. The victim wasn't sure even if it was a robbery."

Police are reviewing security tapes in attempt to identify the attacker. They said they are searching for a man about 6 feet tall wearing a red T-shirt and added that the suspect is also homeless and a frequent visitor at both the Franklin Avenue library and the central library downtown Minneapolis.

Sgt. Bill Palmer said doctors think the victim will be paralyzed for life.

  • Crimesider Staff

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