2 charged in connection with shooting in front of Minneapolis bar

A Minneapolis man and a Brooklyn Center man have been charged in connection with a shooting outside a bar in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Forty-five-year-old Omari Kuakou Thomas, of Minneapolis, was charged with one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of second-degree assault, and 50-year-old Anthony Smith, of Brooklyn Center, was charged with one count of aiding an offender.

According to the criminal complaints, on Jan. 7, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department were called to Cliff N Norm’s Bar on Washington Avenue North on a report of a shooting in which a man had been shot in the stomach.

At the scene, the victim told law enforcement that he had been waiting in line to get into the bar when the suspected shooter, who has not yet been identified, inappropriately grabbed a woman that the victim was with in line.

The victim said he pushed the suspected shooter out of the bar, but the shooter fired his weapon at the victim’s stomach, according to the complaint.

Security footage from outside the bar shows the suspected shooter arriving with Thomas and Smith in a maroon van. Smith drops the two men off and footage shows Thomas stepping out of the vehicle before pulling a handgun from his jacket pocket, removing the magazine, holding it against his body, and emptying the firearm before racking the weapon again and handing the loaded gun to the suspected shooter. Smith then parks the vehicle.

The footage captured Thomas and the suspected shooter walking to the front of the bar before being pushed to the ground a short time later. The video then shows Thomas and the suspected shooter brandishing their weapons as the victim exits the bar, the complaint states.

The complaint goes on to say the footage shows Thomas and the suspected shooter pointing their guns at the victim, who pushed the weapons away. The shooter then fired a single shot at the victim and walked away with Thomas before getting into the vehicle with Smith and driving away.

The vehicle, which belongs to Smith, was found to be registered to an address in Stillwater. Smith was arrested in Stillwater and Thomas was arrested after meeting with his probation officer.

Thomas is prohibited from owning a gun due to previous convictions of first-degree aggravated robbery, felony controlled substances, and felon in possession, according to court records.