A young African life lost in accidental shooting.

by Nelima

I’m sharing this tragic story from the Star Tribune, for those of you who aren’t following it already. I initially had the heading as two young African lives lost then decided to change it to one, because I didn’t want to write off the life of the shooter. I do believe that it will be hard for him to live with the consequences of his actions. My condolences to the family of the victim.  

Fridley football player charged in friend’s shooting

By PAUL LEVY, Star Tribune

November 17, 2008

They were Fridley High School football players from Liberia, seemingly inseparable friends chasing their college dreams.

Now Emmanuel Bartuoh, 18, is dead, the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest Friday night. His friend and former teammate, Samuel Dennis, 20, is charged with second-degree manslaughter and could face 10 years in prison if convicted.

Two days after receiving a Rotary Club scholarship, Bartuoh talked Friday to family members about the college football teams courting him. Earlier Friday, Principal Dave Webb had walked through the lunch line with Bartuoh, “reminding him how anything seemed possible.”

Hours later, Bartuoh lay dead in the hall of his Fridley townhouse. Dennis, who called 911, told police that he didn’t know the 9-millimeter gun he had pointed at his friend was loaded and that he hadn’t meant to shoot Bartuoh.

Bartuoh and Dennis were nearly inseparable, said Webster Jah, 20, of Brooklyn Park, another Ivory Coast native who on Monday squeezed into an Anoka County courtroom, where Dennis was charged. “Emmanuel and Sam were such good friends, I thought Sam lived with him,” Jah said.

Not so, said Romanda Gaye, Bartuoh’s aunt. She said that Bartuoh, an honor student and an all-conference defensive back and kick-return specialist, had tried to distance himself from Dennis because of his “behavior.” “Emmanuel never really hung out with Sam,” Gaye said, adding: “I don’t think it was an accident.”

Fridley football coach Lambert Brown said Monday that Bartuoh was a “terrific play-maker” and that 10 to 15 Division II and Division III schools were recruiting him.

Dennis also had hopes of attending college, said Marie Fatu, 17, of Brooklyn Park, who was at Monday’s hearing. But Dennis had other concerns. Eight months ago, he became a father — a “good father,” said Winnie Yahqueh, 18, of Brooklyn Park, who said she is the baby’s mother.

According to court records, on the day of the killing, Dennis planned to use the gun to “intimidate a female” who lived near Bartuoh. Dennis was upset because she had been telling others that she was having a sexual relationship with him, the court complaint said. Dennis told police that an acquaintance from Minneapolis had left the gun in his car.

Dennis told authorities he never followed through with threatening the young woman.

Hawa Massaquoi, 16, of Brooklyn Park, who said she used to date Dennis, said she was surprised he had a weapon. “Sam could get angry quick, but never quick as in to hurt somebody,” she said.

The day he died, Bartuoh had spent time researching colleges, said his sister, Marthaline, 22, a student at Anoka Technical College. “We came here from Liberia in 1997 when my mother sent for us,” she said. “This is a dream Emmanuel had for a long, long time.”

Bartuoh was watching the high school football tournament on TV when Dennis arrived, friends and relatives at the courthouse said. Dennis was “just messin’ around” with the gun, taking out the clip and showing it off. A 7-year-old boy, a relative of Bartuoh, said Dennis commented that he “was going to kill a girl,” according to court records. When Dennis pointed the gun at the boy’s head, he told him not to worry, it wasn’t loaded.

Dennis pointed the gun at Bartuoh as a joke, he told authorities.

Anoka County Judge Barry Sullivan set bail for Dennis at $50,000. Dennis is to appear in court Dec. 11.


Here are the criminal charges


20 thoughts on “A young African life lost in accidental shooting.

  1. These wannabe thugs will drive me crazy real soon.
    They should give him the chair, I don’t care.

  2. Whatever the case I don’t think he intended to kill his best friend. I think that he will never forget this incident.

  3. Just saw a similar story in the news last night about another young man who may have mistakenly shot his best friend. This is why I’m all about gun control (or mandatory education for all kids on how to use them). I don’t think people really understand how dangerous these weapons are.

  4. I have friends from my church who knew the victim. They were very close friends. I do not even know Emmanuel but I still feel bad and wanted to know him because he sounded like a cool person. Like another person who wrote earlier I am sick and tired of wannabe thugs!!!

  5. Emmanuel was like a cousin to me…Sam was known for talkin hella shit all the time!!! IT WASNT NO ACCIDENT!!!

  6. @mad azz hell I have heard many people say that the shooting was no accident. I guess I was going off what was in the news. So what’s the 411 on the ground? Did Sam have a grudge or something against Emmanuel?

  7. people need to really stop sayin that my cousin and this boy sam were friends. they knew of eachother and the way the culture works is that our family welcomes anyone who is like us into our home with open arms. sam on the other hand is a jealous person who took the life of someone so dear to us. yes he’s going to have to live with the consequences but the key word is LIVE. my cousin emmanuel wont ever get to take another breath why? becuase sam thought he was hard. this was no mistake as much evidence as we have sam should go forever. but in the end only God can really make that judgement right?

  8. When I first saw the story, I knew it was no accident. It will be very hard for anyone to convince me otherwise.
    What a sad loss.
    Flora, this thing about gun control is a topic that really infuriates me because you’ll find people fighting to have the damn things in circulation simply because it is their constitutionally given right. How amazing!

  9. This is sad. I wish the family well and may god help ease their pain. It is HARD to lose a family member.

    This is why these young Africans need to be canned really. Why would a young African teen have a loaded GUN in his house?

    We are having this problem in the Somali Community. Can someone please put an end to this?

  10. Cyril I’m with you on gun control.

    @Northern Kenya, there’s the million dollar question. How do we deal with these kids. I think they are way too old to be canned – as in they’ve already lost their way. but how do we prevent the younger kids from following in the trail the older kids have already set?

  11. I’m also curious about the shooter, if he wasn’t a friend to Emmanuel – was this pre-meditated murder? What did he have against Emmanuel?

  12. Here’s my take on this whole scene. Dude didn’t mean to shoot his friend (and I do suspect he was to Emmanual more than just some kid that walked in to an open door. @ Jshanaya, I’m sorry for your loss, but I don’t buy your depiction one bit). What he was being was stupid. He was probably bragging, showing off with a gun. That right there was his first mistake. But can you blame him? They’ve seen one too many 50 Cents videos, and wasted way too much valuable time listening to those negroes pass off fiction as real life stories. They think Scarface is/was a real life figure for God sake! They do it all the time; jive around with loaded guns acting like that shit only go off only when you want it to.

    Second mistake: Having the gun at all. But that is the society we’ve built. Whether you see it or not, guns are EVERYWHERE. And in many kids’ hands. If they don’t have it now, the movies and video games already have them thinking of it as toy, consequently, when (not if) they get it, they don’t regard it as the dangerous weapon it is. What next? they’re laughing and pointing it at eachother spewing out movie and rap lines like somebody got a damn camera in their face. Then, BANG, tragedy!

    Naw, Sam didn’t mean to shoot Emmanuel. Why would he? Because his friend was getting recognition for playing football? C’mon. Sam is plain whole guilty of being stupid in a society that has reduced guns to toys, Black manhood to thug mentality. Put him in jail for a bit until he smartens up. But this is at best involuntary manslaughter.

  13. Come on Ibe, put him in jail for a bit?? I am for frying the fool!! Straight up! I won’t cut corners on this one. Ignorance and stupidity do not get rewarded in my book. In my ideal world, everyone would learn and smarten up whether they like it or not!

  14. Oh c’mon Cyril. He was young and dumb. “Frying” is for criminal minded individuals that plan shyt and carry it out. Do you think he intended this? Or do you think he deserves “frying” just for being dumb and stupid? If so, that frying pan should be very busy in this society we’ve built.

  15. Ibe & Cyril. I had the opportunity to chat with a young Liberian kid who knows the two boys. He works at the docks of the company i work for.

    This is what he tells me:

    So, apparently, the kid had no idea how to use a gun. So, he was showing off and he tries to disassemble the damned gun and apparently, the kids all freak out and he tells them to chill out. So,he tries to remove the bullets outs and as i hear, if you remove one bullet,you wont see the other one(I ain’t no gun totter,but that doesn’t sound correct). So,if you don’t know what you are doing,you could assume that the gun is fully unloaded. Anyhow, so, that fool,thinks that the bullets are all unloaded,aims the gun at his best bud and fires off. Unfortunately, it ended up being a real bullet.

  16. Ibe, I’m up to the task. Remember our headmasters and teachers in Primary school?

    After reading Northern Kenya’s explanation, I wanna fry the kid faster!
    How many times, will we see these unnecessary tragedies happen and just let them be because the society is rotten.
    Bro, I’m a grown man, but do you know what my mama will do to me if she found me with a gun? Hell, do you know what my sister will do to me?
    That fear alone in itself is worse than a jail term! How come that fear works for me and not for these kids of today? What has changed?
    I am for harsh and befitting punishment for such fools, they will have to learn whether they like it or not!

  17. Samuel stole the gun from an home, the time i know or seen sam he was jealous of alot of peope including me…. he stoled the gun and alot of thing… i remember the boy saying once when he attacked my girl saying he love to see blood…. sam new all about the bullets in the gun and all trust me people.. a true friend or cousin wont have pointed the gun to someone chest then shoot he ment to do this…

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