A pair of Balenciaga sneakers cost a Minnesota teenager his life.
According to a criminal complaint, police responded to a shooting that occurred at a Plymouth apartment complex at 5:56 pm on November 14. WHen officers arrived, they discovered 17-year old Yaseen Thomas Johnson slumped over in the passenger seat of a Buick Enclave that was parked near the complex’s dumpsters- there were bullet holes in the windshield.
Tragically, Johnson was declared dead at the scene; the medical examiner said that he had been shot three times- two shots in the head and one in his upper left chest.
Shortly after their arrival, police spoke with a man who told them he was in the driver seat of the vehicle when Johnson was shot. The man saisd that he and Johnson went to complex’s parking lot to purchase the shoes. They met two males there, who were standing by the dumpster, and they all got into the witness’ vehicle. Johnson spoke with one of the males, later identified as Augustus Sirleaf, who was in the backseat.
Sirleaf gave Johnson one the shoes and Johnson handed Sirleaf half the money. After inspecting the sneaker, Johnson decided to proceed with the transaction and gave Sirleaf the other half of the cash to Sirleaf. He, Sirleaf, then told Johnson to return the shoe to him and when Johnson refused, Sirleaf pulled out a gun on pointed it at Johnson, the witness told officers.
The witness stated he saw Johnson flinch, then he heard ringing. When he looked to Johnson he saw blood and then he ran from the vehicle.
Police at the scene discovered a red Nike bookbag and a black and white balenciaga sneaker that matched another that was found in the front passenger area of the vehicle.Two .40 caliber shell casings were also found outside the driver’s side of the vehicle as well as a .40 caliber casing outside the passenger’s side vehicle. Two bullet holes were also observed in the windshield and two more in the vehicle’s A-frame on the passenger side.
Inside the Nike book bag, receipts were found that were paid for by a credit card by an individual identified in the criminal complaint as “L.W.” Surveillance video from an nearby apartment complex showed a vehicle parked on the curb. A man in dark clothing is seen running down a hill on the property’s south side and get into the parked vehicle. Shortly there after another male, who appears to have a gun, runs in from the west and get in the vehicle through the same door and the vehicle drives off.
According to police, this vehicle was registered to L.W’s father. L.W. stated to law enforcement that on FaceTime call with Sirleaf and the other suspect Hans Madave, when Sirleaf he was planning a robbery and needed Madave’s help. Sirleaf asked asked L.W to pick up Madave and come to his apartment. When they got there, Sirleaf and Madave laid out the details of the planned robbery.
The criminal goes on to say that L.W. stated that he saw Sirleaf with a gun that he concluded in his coat. He said he drove Madave and Sirleaf to the parking lot where the shooting occurred, where he dropped them off and then went back to the Talus Apartments, the planned rendezvous location. Madave was the first to arrive at the location and proceeded to tell L.W. that Sirleaf fired his weapon. Sirleaf subsequently arrived to the vehicle and said he “Had no choice but to shoot.”
L.W. said he drove back to Sirleaf’s apartment complex; Madave opened the underground parking area so L.W. could park his vehicle inside and then the three males returned to Sirlaef’s apartment.
The three males were subsequently identified by Plymouth Police. Sirleaf turned himself in soon thereafter and was subsequently charged with second-degree murder (with intent, not premeditated) and second-degree murder (without intent, while committing a felony). L.W. was arrested and released without charges.
The third suspect, Hans Madave is, at the time of this article, still being sought