Last week, The Inquisitr told the story of Abdi Mohamed, a 17-year-old boy shot by the Salt Lake City police on February 27 and left in a coma.
According to witnesses, Mohamed was involved in a fight with an older man, in which he was wielding a broomstick. SLC police, responding to an unrelated incident, were called in.
Witnesses, including the boy’s friend Selam Mohammed, said that when the police arrived on scene, the teen was given no time to respond to police demands to put the broomstick down; allegedly, he was told to drop the broomstick, after which one officer immediately opened fire, shooting the boy four times.
“The police said, ‘Drop it’ once, then they shot him four times. We were trying to break it up before the police even came, but the police ran in on foot and pulled their guns out already. They already had them, like, as soon as he was running he was already grabbing for his gun, not even trying to Tase him or anything… He said ‘Drop it’ [then] ‘Boom, boom!’ four times.”
Riots broke out after the fight, protesters throwing rocks, bottles, and other debris at police. The area was evacuated, local homeless people prevented from reaching shelters, and hundreds of police from several different districts were brought in.
The police have since commented on the incident, telling it a little differently than witnesses; according to the police, they were responding to two men attacking a victim with metal objects. Allegedly, both attackers were ordered to drop their weapons, one – Abdi Mohamed – did not obey, instead continuing toward the victim, and was shot four times by responding officers.
In the interest of full disclosure, it does need to be acknowledged that Mohamed reportedly has a history of violent behavior and run-ins with law enforcement.
Two weeks later, Fox 13 News is reporting that Abdi has awakened from his medically-induced coma, and his family is reporting that he’s since been able to tell the story from his perspective. According to his cousin, Muslima Weledi, he still can’t walk, but he’s awake and speaking.
Reportedly, this isn’t the first time Mohamed has been awake – Weledi indicated that he had been awake at least once before, and communicating to his family with pen and paper, but that he was confused and seemingly had no memory of what had happened.
“He was wondering to himself like, ‘What am I doing in the hospital? He was telling us about how he didn’t know he got shot.”
According to Weledi, Mohamed is rather more coherent today – but he still doesn’t remember exactly what led up to his shooting.
“He says he remembers picking up a broomstick and breaking it in half, and the other male picking up the other half. He said when he got shot, he didn’t feel the first shot, but the second shot he started feeling a lot of pain, and then after that he blacked out. He didn’t know what happened after that.”
“I was like, ‘I heard you and someone got in a fight.’ He’s like, ‘I don’t remember all that. He doesn’t know why, how he got shot, or where the police came – if they were behind him, or in front of him.”
Mohamed’s friends and family still have a lot of questions – as do the general public. According to HackRead, a group of hackers known as “New World Hacking,” or NWH, brought down the official websites of the Salt Lake City police, airport, Downtown Alliance (an SLC non-profit organization,) and the First Utah Bank, in protest of Mohamed’s shooting. Meanwhile, the family plans to rally on Friday to demand that the SLCPD release body-camera footage of the shooting.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sam Gill has already refused to release the footage, claiming that it would compromise the integrity of the United Police investigation, which they say is still ongoing, and has indicated that the earliest the footage might be available is after the investigation is complete.
[AP Photo/Rick Bowmer]