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Mohamed Mohamud Farah Charged With Murder In St. Paul Body Shop Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Twin Cities man is accused of fatally shooting a man last month in a St. Paul body shop. According to police informants, the murder was to avenge the death of a someone killed in gang violence more than a decade ago.

Mohamed Mohamud Farah, 31, is charged with one count of second-degree murder in connection to the March 30 shooting at Arcade Auto Body shop, court documents filed in Ramsey County show.

According to a criminal complaint, Farah shot 36-year-old Mohamed Samata six times, with bullets hitting the victim in the head, shoulder, groin and chest.

Surveillance video captured the violence, which happened inside the shop's office. A gunman matching Farah's description shot Samata at point-blank range and continued to fire as Samata tried to run away. The gunman then put the spent weapon in his pocket, walked out the door and drove off in a white Acura.

Due to the noise in the body shop, no one working there heard the gunshots. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, located in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood, paramedics found Samata lying dead in the shop's bathroom.

Samata's family told police that the deceased had been involved in gang activity when he was younger. In 2007, he was in a coma for three months after being shot in a gang feud.

Informants in the Twin Cities Somali community told investigators that someone who went by the name "Barre" was involved in Samata's death. The informant said that the shooting was to avenge the death of someone named "Shorty."

According to the complaint, Samata had been arrested in 2008 over his potential involvement in Shorty's death. However, Samata was never charged.

In 2009, investigators spoke with Farah, who was in Arizona at the time and identified himself as Barre, the complaint states. During the interview, he said that his younger brother Shorty was murdered in Minneapolis, adding that Samata had put a hit out on him.

Twelve years later, Farah was interviewed by Minneapolis police in connection to Samata's death. He wore the same clothes seen on the surveillance footage the day Samata was killed.

A month later, on April 23, officers executed a search warrant at a Minneapolis apartment. Investigators say they found a cell phone that Farah had on him when Samata was murdered. They also found a key to an Acura hidden in a built-in drawer.

Investigators spoke with Farah's uncle, who said that Farah had been sleeping on his couch for weeks. He said that the hidden key belonged to the white car that Farah drove. When asked about Shorty, the uncle said that Shorty was Farah's uncle, who was killed many years ago.

Farah is currently being held at the Ramsey County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million bail. If convicted of the second-degree murder charge, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

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