Accused gunman released from custody days before Ibrahim homicide

Saturday June 20, 2015 - 11:58:02 in Featured Items by Super Admin
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    Accused gunman released from custody days before Ibrahim homicide

    One of two gang-members arrested Friday in the killing of 27-year-old Yusuf Ibrahim had been cleared of all charges from a different shooting just two weeks before the homicide, the Citizen has learned.

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Mohamed Abdi Abdullahi is one of two men arrested in the killing of 27-year-old Yusuf Ibrahim.
One of two gang-members arrested Friday in the killing of 27-year-old Yusuf Ibrahim had been cleared of all charges from a different shooting just two weeks before the homicide, the Citizen has learned.
Ottawa police arrested Mohamed Abdi Abdullahi, known as "Waakaa,” and Abdullahi Osman around 4 a.m. Friday after a drunken fight broke out in southeast Ottawa. Police had initially intended to charge at least one of the men for public intoxication, but then discovered that they were both wanted on first-degree murder charges. Abdullahi and Osman, both alleged to be gang members and well-known to police, were the subject of the four-month investigation by homicide detectives.

Police allege that Abdullahi fired the fatal shots that killed Ibrahim last February, while they believe Osman drove the getaway car.

Ibrahim, a convicted bank robber and Crips gang member, was shot dead after a night of partying on the morning of Feb. 6 as he lay sleeping on a couch in the living room of his friend’s Forestglade Crescent townhome. He lay dying in a friend’s arms with gunshot wounds to his legs and back as a rented black Dodge Charger sped away from the scene.

Police have maintained that his killing was both targeted and gang-related and believe Ibrahim, who was known by the name "Grinch,” had made enemies who sought revenge for being disrespected.

The shooting, the city’s first of three homicides in 2015 to date, came after a year of record gun violence in 2014 that was prompted largely by what police said were disputes between gang members.

Abdullahi, who police believe shot Ibrahim, was most recently charged by Ottawa’s guns and gangs unit after a shooting on Horsdal Private on July 17, which targeted a hearing impaired low-level drug dealer. In the same incident, a second victim hid in the basement as police searched the home and only later went to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Both victims refused to co-operate with police.

Abdullahi was the guns and gangs unit’s prime suspect in the July Crips-related shooting on Horsdal Private. He was considered armed and dangerous and wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. Police had searched Abdullahi’s Topley Crescent home the day after the shooting but made no arrests. He turned himself in to police in the days that followed.

Abdullahi was discharged of all counts on Jan. 22 after the only Crown witness at the preliminary hearing recanted earlier evidence he had given to police. The witness — 35-year-old Abdi Yusuf — told the court that he had parked his car on Horsdal Private, intending to go into the house where the shots were later fired.

"Bang, bang, bang, bang,” Yusuf told court, adding that a man standing outside the house had advanced to the car and was pointing a gun at Yusuf’s face. Yusuf said he and another man fled saying they were "scared for our lives.”

In a videotaped photo-line-up selection played at the hearing, Yusuf immediately selected the sixth photograph shown to him. It’s of Abdullahi.

"Yeah this looks like the guy. This looks like the shooter,” Yusuf said to the officer conducting the line-up.

Yusuf, however, did concede that in his memory the shooter had a bigger beard and more hair than the person in the picture, "but that face, he pointed a gun at me, I can’t forget that face.”

"I’m pretty sure that’s him,” he said. "This is the same face I saw.”

At the hearing six months later, however, he recanted.

"I made a terrible mistake,” Yusuf said, adding it took him a couple of the days to "muster up the courage” to go back to police to let them know his previous evidence was "completely bogus.”

"I was trying to be truthful but I was confused and I was mistaken when I chose that picture.”

"Do you see the shooter here in the courtroom today?” the Crown prosecutor asked the witness.

"No, I don’t.”

Abdullahi was released from custody days later.

Osman, the alleged getaway driver in Ibrahim’s shooting, was also already known to police.

He was arrested in July 2012 after a gun was found in a car pulled over by police. Osman’s co-accused at the time included now slain Malik Adjokatcher, whose 2013 homicide remains unsolved. Also in the car during the 2012 incident was Khalid Mohammad, who was charged in May with killing 21-year-old Sharif Said, who was gunned down in the middle of Tremblay Road.

In 2013, Osman was acquitted of a 2010 gunpoint robbery at a Fabricland store. He was accused of providing two rifles in the robbery and boosting the getaway van when it stalled in the middle of fleeing.

Abdullahi and Osman are both scheduled to appear in court Saturday, where they will be charged with first-degree murder.

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