The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 21, 2014

All released in shooting case

Victim who died described as "genuine and loving"

(Continued)

Mayen and Acouth grew up together on Omaha's southern border with the suburb Bellevue, Mayen on the Omaha side of the street and Acouth on the Bellevue side of the street. Both left Sudan for refugee camps when they were about five years old. They were like brothers and both attended South High School in Omaha.

"I was there," Mayen said Monday. "I was the one shot in the foot. He wasn't even part of the altercation. When we were walking out, everything was already happening. He was shot in the back.

"It happened so fast. When the shooting started, everyone just dropped. I didn't even know I had been hit."

Another cousin of Acouth, Bejo Monydit, also was shot, Mayen said. The three of them, along with Dat and Doluony, were playing on a basketball team in a tournament sponsored by Minnesota State University and its South Sudanese Student Association.

Mayen didn't know why Doluony was arrested, but Dat was arrested because he lost his composure while talking to police officers. Gach was arrested because she was recording video of the incident, Mayen said.

"Everybody was mad and angry," Mayen said. "Dilang's emotions got the best of him."

The purpose of the event at the Kato Ballroom was to raise money for people in South Sudan. It's an annual event that hasn't resulted in any trouble in the past. Mayen said he and Acouth attended the event last year.

"That's the thing people don't get about this," Mayen said. "Everyone was thinking this was about gangs. We all had no idea what was going on. The fundraiser was our way of saying we're not about that. We want to help people."

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