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Four arrested after brawl, gunshots at Concord wedding party

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 23. 2018 9:37PM

DOUG ALDEN/UNION LEADER Salim Hussein appears in Merrimack County Superior Court on Monday with defense attorney John Draghi, left. Hussein and another man are charged with riot and reckless conduct after a weekend brawl at a wedding. Two other men are charged with riot.

CONCORD — Four men who drove hundreds of miles to crash a wedding are facing charges after a weekend brawl that included an exchange of gunfire in a crowded parking lot at the reception.

Witnesses identified Salim Hussein as the man they saw shoot a pistol from a white Chrysler 200, which was rushing out of the parking lot at Bektash Temple when it was broad-sided by another vehicle early Sunday, police said.

Five people climbed out of the Chrysler; witnesses told police at least one opened fire on the other vehicle, Lt. Sean Ford said Monday.

“We knew people had fled into the woods and we were concerned for a while that we may have somebody injured out in the woods,” Ford said. “We had people coming out of the woodline for several hours after this thing, even at the break of dawn.”

A caller first reported shots fired around 1:20 a.m. Sunday at the function hall at 189 Pembroke Road. Ford said officers arrived to a chaotic scene involving about 300 people.

“There were multiple factions that were fighting amongst each other,” Ford said. “It seemed like an ongoing thing that’s been brewing over social media and possibly at some other events and celebrations.”

The two men facing the most serious charges appeared Monday before Judge Robert McNamara, who set bail for both at $10,000 cash during separate hearings in Merrimack County Superior Court.

Salim Hussein, 22, of Nashville, Tenn., and Jafar Kahalid Issak, 19, of Columbus, Ohio, were charged with reckless conduct and rioting; both waived their arraignment.

Prosecutors said Hussein drove from Tennessee and picked up Issak and three others along the way.

Daniel Swegart, a public defender representing Issak, asked for his client’s bail to be set at $750, but McNamara agreed with Assistant County Attorney Jacki Smith’s request for the same bail amount as Hussein.

Abdi Osman Mohamed, 18, of Erie, Pa., and Ali Dahir Hussein, 20, of Columbus, Ohio, were charged with rioting. Both waived their arraignment as prosecutors and the defense reached an agreement, setting bail at $2,000 cash/surety for each.

All four traveled together to the wedding, prepared and armed for trouble, Smith said.

“The state’s understanding is that they were aware that a fight would ensue at this event,” Smith said outside the courtroom.

Ford said police were investigating possible gang ties leading to the melee, but were also looking at other possibilities.

Police recovered two .38 caliber shell casings at the scene and one unspent .38 caliber bullet. Detectives also reviewed at least one cellphone video taken during the brawl. Ford said police are hopeful additional videos may surface on social media.

According to probable cause affidavits filed before the hearings Monday, the four knew there was potential for tensions at the wedding, which they weren’t invited to, with rival groups that were also at the venue.

“There may have been other uninvited guests, too,” Ford said. “There was a lot of people who were not supposed to be there and tensions were brewing all night long.”

Crime Public Safety Concord

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