Witnesses dispute Alexander Weiss' self-defense story in shooting of teen driver

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Alexander Weiss' bumper sticker read, “Gun control means hitting your target.” Olmsted County Jail

Alexander Weiss of Rochester was arrested Sunday night after killing 17-year-old Muhammad Rahim after the two crashed into each other. That much is certain. 

Rahim was turning onto 31st Street NE from East River Road in Rochester when he lost control of his car and slid into a sewer grate. Weiss, 25, approached as Rahim backed out, and their two vehicles collided. Weiss got out of his car; Rahim and another male passenger went to meet him. 

Rahim's three teenage passengers admitted that while Rahim stepped up to Weiss with his chest puffed out, daring him to brawl, they told investigators that it was Weiss who emerged from his car angling for a fight.

Weiss pulled a gun from his pocket and pointed it at Rahim, the teens told investigators, to which Rahim answered, "I fucking dare you to do it." So he did, shooting Rahim in the chest. 

In Weiss' version of events, he shot out of self-defense because the boys were accusing him of causing the crash and threatening to beat him up. He pulled his gun, which he is permitted to carry, when Rahim got as close to 10 feet away. He held it at his side, pointed down, Weiss said. He told investigators that Rahim shoved him in the chest, taunted him by saying, "That's not even a real gun," and spat at him.

Weiss said he shot Rahim at point-blank range when Rahim reached out to grab the gun.

Rahim's passengers disputed their friend had ever made physical contact with Weiss. A third-party witness agreed with them.

On Tuesday, a woman driving near the scene as it unfolded contacted the Rochester Police Department. According to this witness, she stopped briefly on 31st Street NE as Weiss faced off with the teens, and watched as Weiss pulled the gun from his pocket and fired one shot at Rahim. She said Rahim was not touching Weiss, raising a fist, or advancing toward him at the time.

The Olmsted County Attorney's Office charged Weiss with second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of three to 30 years.

 


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