Charges against 2021 Brooklyn Park murder suspect dropped

A man who was arrested earlier this year in Virginia and was accused of a killing in Brooklyn Park in 2021 is no longer charged with murder.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office dismissed a second-degree murder charge against 25-year-old Benjamin Perry Richardson on Wednesday.

Richardson had been charged with killing 22-year-old Alameen Allah Shabazz on June 22, 2021. He was arrested by authorities in Virginia early this year.

Court records show Richardson was scheduled to have a hearing Wednesday where his attorney was expected to move for the case to be dismissed due to a lack of probable cause. If that happened and a judge dismissed the case, prosecutors wouldn’t have been able to file murder charges against Richardson for Shabazz’s death in the future.

Instead, prosecutors opted to dismiss the case before that happened, allowing them to continue gathering evidence and possibly recharge Richardson at some point in the future.

“After extensive review of all available evidence in this case, there is currently insufficient evidence to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the State was forced to dismiss the case at this point to ensure it can be recharged if additional evidence becomes available,” the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in a statement.

Shabazz was shot multiple times as he walked into Nice Family African Market, according to court documents. His girlfriend, who was in the car at the time, told investigators that they’d just left the hospital because their 11-day-old baby was in the Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and stopped at the market on their way home.

By talking to witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, officers identified Richardson as the shooter, a criminal complaint adds.

Jail records show Richardson was released from custody Wednesday night.