MINNEAPOLIS — Five people were killed when a driver ran a red light and slammed into their vehicle in Minneapolis after a state trooper spotted him speeding, authorities say. The tragedy comes after the city banned officers from stopping cars for minor traffic violations in 2021.
The driver was on Interstate 35 when the trooper first encountered him around 10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis police said in a statement. The driver exited the highway before the trooper could initiate a traffic stop and crashed into another vehicle with four women and a girl inside, police said. All five were pronounced dead at the scene.
WARNING: Disturbing video shows moment of impact from reckless driver speeding & running a red light before killing five people and fleeing the scene. Sources have identified the driver as Derrick John Thompson, the son of former DFL state Rep. John Thompson. pic.twitter.com/JVvNDwuaOV
— Liz Collin (@lizcollin) June 18, 2023
Police said the motorist then ran from the crash scene. Officers searched the area before taking a suspect into custody. He was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.
Police have not released the name of the suspect but sources tell Alpha News that the driver was Derrick John Thompson, the son of former Democratic state Rep. John Thompson.
In 2018, Derrick Thompson was arrested after allegedly being involved in a major injury hit-and-run crash in California. The California Highway Patrol reported that police chased Thompson’s car into the Montecito area after trying to stop the vehicle for reckless driving. After the woman was hit, investigators say the vehicle crashed into a wall and Thompson ran away.
Thompson fled to Minnesota where he was later taken into custody by the St. Paul Gang Task Force.
The father of Derrick and former Representative John Thompson, an advocate of defund the police, lost an August 2022 primary that was preceded by a series of scandals that included a late-night traffic stop and a run-in with a St. Paul police officer; questions about his residency; and the release of police reports describing allegations of domestic violence.
House Democrats voted in 2021 to expel Thompson from the DFL caucus.