Anthony Sawina, 26, was convicted of attempted murder and assault for shooting at the men last summer, reported the Star-Tribune.
“We appreciate the jury’s understanding of the egregious harm done by Mr. Sawina to the men he tried to murder and to the Twin Cities Muslim community as a whole,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations-MN.
The five Somali Americans were on their way to a mosque for prayer when prosecutors say the group heard someone yell “[expletive] Muslims.
I’m saying [expletive] Muslims. What are you going to do about it?” Anthony Sawina, 26, is accused of saying.
Police say Sawina pulled out a gun and fired at least two shots.
Witnesses testified Sawina said “I’m going to kill you all.”
“The evidence showed he escalated a situation that already was volatile,” said Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Patrick Lofton to Fox 9. “It was important that every witness painted a full version of what happened.”
The crime was officially classified as bias motivated, but no formal hate crime charges were filed because the charge would not have resulted in any additional jail time.
“This certainly has all sorts of elements of a hate crime,” prosecutor Mike Freeman said.
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