Two teenagers are under arrest after they attempted to rob a taxi driver in order to get money to pay their rent and the man ended up dead, authorities said.
On May 5, Willie Alonzo Sparkman Jr., 18, and a 17-year-old girl, who law enforcement officials did not identify, were in Moorhead, Minnesota, and called for a taxi from Doyle’s Yellow Checker Cab, a Fargo-based company, to meet them in a parking lot, according to court documents.
Video surveillance footage allegedly shows Sparkman approach the taxi, which then sped away, the Star Tribune reported.
Sparkman allegedly shot the taxi driver, Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi, 24, in the armpit with a .45-caliber handgun and then took off with the teenage girl in a getaway vehicle.
Abdullahi’s body was found in the wreckage of his van around 3:30 a.m.
The victim’s employer, Doyle’s Yellow Checker Cab, noted in a statement, “Abdullahi has been taken away from us too soon by an evil act” and “he was a great addition to our team, well mannered, very respectful, kind hearted, and hardworking young man."
“Let's strive to be better and spread more love, especially to those who need it the most,” the taxi company added.
Sparkman, who claimed he didn’t mean to shoot the victim, told investigators he and the female suspect shared an apartment and hatched a plan to commit robberies so they could pay the rent, the Duluth News Tribune reported, citing court documents.
Both Sparkman and the teenage girl were arrested and allegedly admitted to the crime, according to the Star Tribune.
Sparkman is charged with felony counts of second-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
The female suspect faces felony counts of aiding and abetting with second-degree murder, aiding and abetting with attempted aggravated robbery in the first degree, and first-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, according to the Clay County Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors have reportedly filed to for her to be charged as an adult.
Both are also suspected of allegedly attempting to commit two robberies that occurred in Fargo shortly before Abdullahi’s death.
Abdullahi’s loved ones have set up a GoFundMe to pay for his funeral.