Evidence against Abdi Mohamed unveiled in court

Teen in controversial police shooting faces robbery and drug charges

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) -  Kelly Mcrae said he just finished dinner at the homeless shelter went he went outside looking for marijuana.

Mcrae is the state's first witness in the case against 18-year old Abdullahi Abdi Mohamed.  The teen was shot last February by Salt Lake City police after an alleged assault on Mcrae.  Police claimed they ordered Abdi to put the broom stick down and is accused of coming after police with the broom stick.  Mohamed was eventually charged with aggravated assault and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
 
"I was looking for someone I knew," Mcrae said in court testimony.
Mcrae who appeared in Salt Lake County jail clothing, claimed Abdi approached him and asked him for a joint.
 
"He was trying to sell me something else," said Mcrae. "He had a pill jar."
 
But Mcrae said that wasn't what he was looking for.
 
"He kept pestering me," said Mcrae.
 
He said Abdi then took him to another person.
 
"A block enforcer," said Mcrae.
 
He said a block enforcer is the street name for someone who takes care of things when there's a problem.
 
"(He) had a steel pipe and started smacking it behind his back," Mcrae said. "I was worried."
 
Mcrae said he found an aluminum broom stick to defend himself but then gave it to Abdi in hopes of settling him down.  He said Abdi was angry with him because he was "taking up his time."
 
He said Abdi started "whacking him with the broom stick and started to run.  He said Abdi started chasing him.  He said police soon arrived and saw the officers yelling at Abdi.
 
"I heard them say 10 or 12 times to stop and drop your weapons," said Mcrae.
 
But he testified Abdi remained "focused" on him.  Mcrae said backing away from Abdi when he heard gunfire.
 
Salt Lake City police officer Kory Checketts was the second person testifying for the state.  He said he was at the homeless shelter investigating another case when he and another officer stepped outside.
 
"I saw him hit (Mcrae) with a large object once," Checketts testified.
He said he started approaching two men who were confronting a man whom Checketts claimed had his hands up and was retreating.
Checketts said he could see both men dragging objects on the ground and were making metal sounds.
 
"I thought it was a large pole or a sword," he testified.
 
He claimed he repeatedly ordered the men to drop their weapons. He said one man stopped, dropped the pole and took off running.  But not the second person.

"He never turned in my direction, he never acknowledged me," said Checketts. "He kept advancing with a straight purpose to Mr. Mcrae."

Both officers were wearing body cameras and were recording every moment.
 
"Drop your weapon, drop your weapon," Checketts could be heard on the footage."
 
"He began to raise it (pole) at that point," Checketts testified.  "I thought it would kill or injure him, as a blow to the head could cause death.  I stopped the threat using my firearm."

Footage from the body camera then showed Checketts firing several times and the man with the police falls to the ground.

Jordan Winegar was also accused of firing his weapon.
Body camera footage also showed him issuing orders of "drop your weapon, drop your weapon" at the man holding the pole.
 
"He eventually began to raise his right hand while holding the weapon and we stopped the advancement and the further threat of the assault," Winegar testified.

Mcrae who was earlier on the stand backed the claims of the two officers.

The prosecutor asked him if Abdi put his weapon down.
 
"No," Mcrae answered. "He had it in his hand."
 
The prosecutor then asked him if he was making any threatening gestures with the pole.
 
"He had it up above his head like he was going to whack somebody with it,"  Mcrae answered.

At the end of the preliminary hearing, the juvenile judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for Abdi Mohamed to stand trial on the charges of aggravated robbery and drug possession with intent to sell.
 

 

 
 

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