A Kansas City store clerk has been sentenced to probation for shooting a teenager who had stolen a package of cookies.
Mohammed G. Abdi, 28, admitted that he shot a 16-year-old boy who was shoplifting from the Pic N Save store at 59th Street and Prospect Avenue in July 2015. The boy was found in the street with a gunshot wound in his left leg.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Robert M. Schieber on Friday sentenced Abdi to five years of probation for assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Abdi had pleaded guilty to both counts in December.
As part of the probation, Abdi is required to pay $12,000 in restitution and attend college or work full time. He is ordered to stay away from firearms.
Jackson County prosecutors had asked that Abdi be sentenced to five years in prison, saying that he had, instead of calling police, unnecessarily escalated the situation to violence and then, after the shooting, had “continued to go about his business without stopping to see if he had injured the victim or shot anyone else.”
The victim was shot in the knee and required “substantial rehabilitation,” prosecutors said, making him unable to continue playing basketball at school.
Abdi’s defense attorney, David Bell, told the court that Abdi regretted the shooting, that he had been put in a dangerous position by his employers and that he was an “ideal candidate” for probation.
Abdi was born in Somalia in 1989 and spent time in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the U.S. and becoming a citizen in 2010. He has no criminal history and has attended college in Kansas City after graduating from Northeast High School.
According to Bell, the store clerk is cooperating with the shooting victim in a possible civil suit against Abdi’s employers at the store. Bell wrote that the owners of the store “created an environment whereby Mr. Abdi felt obligated to wear a firearm.”
Abdi had no experience or training with firearms and was often threatened while working at the store and once had a gun pulled on him, Bell wrote, adding that Abdi’s judgment was impaired at the time of the shooting because he had run out of his blood pressure medication days earlier. Just before the shooting, Bell wrote, Abdi’s blood pressure reached 200 and he became dizzy.
By the time he was sentenced, Abdi had spent 30 days in custody and more 19 months on house arrest.