A 25-year-old Minnesota man was charged with second-degree murder after shooting a 17-year-old man in Rochester on Jan. 14. The shooting happened after the two men had been involved in a car accident.
According to the criminal complaint, an officer arrived at the scene after being dispatched and being told by a witness that there had been a shooting. The officer saw two women near a man who was lying in the street. Two other men were also nearby. One of those men approached the officer and said that the other man had shot his friend. The alleged shooter had a Glock 19 handgun containing 15 rounds in a 17-round magazine. The police officer removed the gun from the man’s pocket and took him into custody. The man who had been shot was taken to a hospital where he later died.
The alleged shooter and one witness agreed that the two men’s cars collided after the younger man’s car crashed and then crashed into the older man’s car. Witnesses say that the alleged shooter got out of his car and behaved aggressively, but that man himself claims that he was met with aggression by the younger man, and that is why he got his gun out of his car. The man admitted to the shooting, but says that he had been threatened by witnesses and feared for his safety. He says that he pulled the trigger when the other driver got close to him and reached for the gun.
Murder charges are divided into degrees under Minnesota law. In a second degree charge, the alleged killing was not premeditated. There are a variety of strategies an attorney representing a person who is facing such a charge could use, including claiming that the act that led to the death was taken in self-defense.