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Man convicted of assault in fatal shooting of teenager outside Richfield school

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A 20-year-old Minneapolis man was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday in connection with a February school shooting in Richfield that killed a 15-year-old boy and injured two other students.

Alfredo Rosario Solis, 20, was convicted of second-degree assault last month for the shooting that killed Jahmari Kei’Fee Rice outside the South Education Center Academy on the afternoon of February 1. A jury found him not guilty of five of the six crimes. charges he faced including second degree murder, attempted murder and first degree assault. An accomplice, Fernando Valdez-Alvarez, will be tried for murder in February.

Solis appeared Tuesday morning before Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin. Solis refused to speak in court.

“Mr. Solis, you are a very lucky man,” Scoggin said in a courtroom nearly empty except for media and attorneys. “I suggest you take this chance and run with it for the rest of your life.”

His sentence was the mandatory minimum sentence and bars him from owning a firearm. He deserves credit for having already served 11 months, his lawyer Matthew Jaimet said.

“My client has admitted very limited involvement in this and just wants to support him,” Jaimet said.

On Dec. 7, when a jury returned with verdicts after a week-long trial, the courtroom was full of family for Rice. But Rice’s family was not present during the sentencing on Tuesday. No one from Solis’ family showed up for sentencing.

Solis had an intense confrontation with Rice’s father, Cortez Rice, before Solis was escorted by sheriff’s deputies out of the courtroom last month for his acquittal.

Cortez Rice was in disbelief at the acquittal, saying prosecutors have all the evidence to convict Solis, from eyewitnesses to Solis’ Airpod he dropped at the scene. Police also found a Glock 45 9mm handgun in his bedroom.

“He even admitted to shooting in the direction of my son, other children and other students. He shouldn’t even be held responsible for shooting at the school and possibly endangering others. ‘other students or teachers at the time?’ said the father. “This is nonsense.”

Richfield police say a disagreement between students led to the shooting. All three victims and the suspects, Solis and Valdez-Alvarez, attended South Education Center Academy.

Police arrested the young men at different locations several hours after gunfire outside the South Education Center killed Rice and struck another student, 17, who was taken to HCMC by ambulance in a critical condition. A third pupil at the school, aged 19, suffered “minor injuries” at the scene but was not hospitalized.

The two suspects and three victims all attended the South Education Center and “are acquaintances,” Richfield police said after the shooting.

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