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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Shooter charged with second-degree murder in death of Rochester teenager

Shooter charged with second-degree murder in death of Rochester teenager

The Olmsted County Attorney's Office has charged Alexander Weiss, 25 of Rochester, with second-degree murder, without intent, in connection to Sunday's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Muhammed Rahim.

Weiss made his first appearance in court Wednesday morning. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 3 - 40 years.

Weiss and Rahim were involved in a vehicle accident Sunday morning at the intersection of 31st Street and East River Road Northeast. After the collision Rahim confronted Weiss, who went back to his vehicle to retrieve his handgun. According to a witness, Rahim dared Weiss to shoot him. Weiss, who had a permit for the gun, fired a single shot into Rahim's chest.

Rahim was brought to St. Mary's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Related: Read the full criminal complaint.

Weiss told police he shot Rahim in self defense. However, noting the state's high standard for self-defense claims, the Rochester Police Department forwarded a recommendation that Weiss be charged to the county attorney's office. According to investigators, at no point was Weiss physically injured during the altercation. Rahim was not carrying a weapon.

Rahim moved to Rochester six years ago after fleeing war-torn Iraq. The family told the Star Tribune they left the country due to threats they received for providing assistance to the U.S. government. 

“This accident happened for nothing,” Abdulwahhab Kareem, father of Muhammed Rahim, told the paper. “A car accident happened. This is the business of the insurance company. But somehow in the safest place in the world, and the safest place in the U.S., I lost my life. I lost my son.”

Left to right: Weiss and Rahim

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