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Man charged in shooting death of Rogers High School student

According to Hennepin County court documents, Augustus Sirleaf, 19, is now charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Yaseen Johnson.
Credit: KARE 11
Teenager Yaseen Johnson found shot and killed inside a vehicle in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Prosecutors say a 19-year-old man has been charged in the death of Yaseen Johnson, a Rogers High School student who was found shot to death in Plymouth earlier this month.

According to Hennepin County court documents released Monday, Augustus Sirleaf is now charged with one count of second-degree murder with intent and one count of second-degree murder without intent, while committing a felony.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years if he’s convicted.

The criminal complaint says Plymouth police responded to an apartment complex on the 9700 block of 37th Place North on Monday, Nov. 14 for a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they located a teenager, later identified as 17-year-old Yaseen Johnson, shot and killed inside a vehicle.

The complaint goes on to say that soon after officers arrived, a male approached them, saying he was in the driver's seat of the vehicle when Johnson was shot. Prosecutors say he told investigators he and Johnson were waiting in the complex parking lot to buy shoes from two men, who entered the backseat of the vehicle when they arrived.

One of the men, later identified as Sirleaf, gave one of the shoes to Johnson in exchange for half of the money, the complaint says. The witness then told police that after Johnson decided he liked the shoes, he gave Sirleaf the rest of the money. That's when, the complaint says, Sirleaf told Johnson to give the shoe back.

When Johnson refused, Sirleaf took out a gun and pointed it at Johnson, the witness told police. He went on to say that's when he heard "ringing" and got out of the vehicle and ran.

The complaint says officers at the scene recovered a backpack and one shoe just outside the passenger door of the vehicle, while the matching shoe was found on the floorboard in the front passenger area. Court documents say officers also observed two .40 caliber discharged cartridge casings on the outside of the driver's side door, and one outside the passenger door.

A search of the interior of the vehicle produced two more cartridge casings between the rear passenger seats, and a search of the backpack yielded a receipt leading to another person they believed could have been involved in the shooting but has not been charged.

The complaint says that when officers located that individual, he told them he had spoken with Sirleaf and another person possibly connected to the incident earlier in the day. The witness told police Sirleaf indicated he was planning a robbery and wanted their help.

Documents say the individual said he drove Sirleaf and the other individual allegedly involved to the parking lot, while he parked and waited. The other individual came back to the vehicle before Sirleaf, the witness said, and alleged Sirleaf had discharged his gun. A short time later, the complaint said, Sirleaf returned to the vehicle and said he had "no choice but to shoot."

Prosecutors say that's when the three of them returned to the underground parking lot of the apartment complex, in which Sirleaf was living, and went back to his apartment.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined Johnson suffered two gunshot wounds to the head, and one to the chest.

Sirleaf is currently in custody at the Hennepin County Jail, while one of the other suspects was also arrested. Police continue to search for the third.

The two unidentified suspects have not yet been formally charged.

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