Dustin Haberland says he was unfairly terminated after victims sought help from gas station
As motorists passed by SuperAmerica on Cliff Road in Eagan today, they could see Dustin Haberland holding signs in protest. The former SuperAmerica manager says he was unfairly fired after two shooting victims sought help from his store.
Haberland said he was awoken at 4 a.m. on Aug. 13 by a regular customer who called to inform him large numbers of police were at the gas station. Haberland said he immediately called the overnight worker who told him two men, who had been shot, came into the store at 2250 Cliff Road for help.
Police say the men were shot at around 2 a.m. on the 2100 block of East 117th Street in Burnsville and were driven by a woman to the gas station. One of the victims, 23-year-old Abdifatah Ahmed Mahumod, was found dead in the vehicle. The other victim was injured and hospitalized.
Haberland said he doesn’t blame the clerk for failing to call him.
“He was obviously shaken up,” he said.
After being assured that police had arrived and everything was under control, Haberland went back to sleep.
When he arrived to work a little before 6 a.m. that morning, he was surprised to see the store at Cliff and Slater roads surrounded by police tape and temporarily closed. He said he immediately called SuperAmerica’s corporate office and was told to go home for the day. When he returned to work the next day, he was fired, Haberland said. The company’s reason: He didn’t call the company at 4 a.m. when he first learned of the incident.
“They basically fired me over two hours,” he said. “I didn’t realize right away that it was a crime scene.”
The father of a 21-month-old child, Haberland said the timing couldn’t be worse since he and his girlfriend closed on a Savage home three weeks earlier.
“Things will be tight,” he said. “But we’ll make it work.”
Passers-by approached Haberland throughout the day to inquire about the protest and express their support.
Sara Cavanath, a regular customer, said she was disappointed to hear of Haberland’s termination.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “They shouldn’t have fired him over this. He’s a great employee.”
Haberland was a favorite among many of the store’s customers.
“He’s the best manager they’ve had since they opened,” said Tere Hasselt, an Eagan resident and regular customer.
Another customer, Lisa Farley, said she may go to a different gas station as a result of the firing.
“He’s such a nice guy,” she said.
Haberland, who held a sign urging people to call SuperAmerica’s Minnesota headquarters, said his goal is to make people aware of the company’s treatment.
“I don’t think it will get my job back,” he said. “I just want people to know what corporate did to me.”
He said he plans to continue his protest on Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then begin looking for a new job.
SuperAmerica representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.