While Somali-American men and Islamic community leaders believe it was no accident that a white man and his teen son dumped dead deer on two cars, the suspects claimed that they really just had to get rid of the skinned deer carcasses, police say.
It happened in St. Cloud, Minnesota on Wednesday night outside of a YMCA. The Star Tribune reported that a 62-year-old man and his 14-year-old son were spotted on surveillance camera footage dumping dead deer on the hoods of two vehicles — vehicles that happened to belong to two Somali-American men. The father reportedly sat in the truck as his son dumped the carcasses. Police do not believe the father and son knew the people victimized by the deer dump.
According to the Associated Press, assistant police chief Jeff Oxton said that the father was fully aware of what was happening. He said that the suspects claimed in a taped statement that that they “needed to get rid of the carcasses and dumped them at that location in that manner.”
Many in the community aren’t buying that story, however.
Ali Abdullahi, one of the men victimized, was shaken by the incident, according to community organizer Haji Yussuf.
“He was very hurt by it, but also scared,” he said. Yussuf said that Abdullahi was concerned that he was the victim of a hate crime and that the suspects were hunters who had guns, and were trying to send a message.
Abdullahi interpreted this message to mean “You’re not welcome. We don’t like you.”
“I was thinking that someone was just there to get me, especially that this was a deer hunter, and they have a rifle,” Abdullahi said. “And all the shootings that I have been seeing and watching — I’m terrified. I’m just thinking that somebody is just watching me and trying to kill me.”
It’s not immediately clear if this will incident will result in charges. Police said to expect an update by Monday at the earliest.
[Image via CBS Minnesota screengrab]