The five young women who were killed in Minneapolis on Friday night when an allegedly speeding SUV hit their car were described as “the shining stars of hope”.
They were Sabiriin Ali, a 17-year-old who had just graduated from high school, and college students Sagal Hersi and Siham Adam, both 19; and Sahra Gesaade and Salma Abdikadir, both 20. The five were close friends who were reportedly preparing for a wedding planned for Saturday at a mall CBS NewsMinnesota. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.
thousands of people Monday gathered for Prayer Services at Dar Al Farooq Centerthe mosque where they volunteered and taught, before all five were interred in the Garden of Eden Islamic cemetery in Burnsville, south of Minneapolis.
The driver, identified as Derrick John Thompson, 27, initially fled the scene but was arrested within an hour, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman Adam Kennedy told HuffPost. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment and evaluation. According to police, the SUV was spotted by a state police officer while traveling on the freeway. However, he went off the road, ran a red light and rammed into the woman’s car before the police officer could attempt to stop the driver for speeding.
The SUV was traveling at over 95 miles per hour when it was spotted by officers, Howie Padilla, communications director for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, told HuffPost.
Thompson, the son of former Minnesota State Assemblyman John Thompson, was arrested Monday afternoon and sent to the Hennepin County Jail. It is unclear if he has an attorney. (John Thompson did not respond to requests for comment.)
Derrick Thompson has a history of driving-related offenses and had his driver’s license previously revoked, according to court records. It was not reinstated until June 7 and he was released from prison earlier in the year. according to KSTP-TV in St. Paul. Thompson was convicted of a hit and run in Montecito, California, which left a woman in a coma. KEYT-TV in Sanata Barbara, California reported. In that incident, he refused to stop in front of a police officer, punched a pedestrian, and fled the scene. Police found more than 17 pounds of cannabis and over $20,000 in cash in his car. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In the Minnesota accident, authorities have been criticized for leaking surveillance video showing the collision and the victim’s car being pushed out of the intersection.
“We don’t know who shared the Metro Transit surveillance video to post online, but we will be conducting an internal review with Metro Transit Police to try to identify the source,” Brian O’Hara said , Minneapolis Police Chief, in a statement shared with HuffPost. “I will also review and consider policy changes to limit how probative video from an outside agency can be received by members of the MPD.
“This incident is senseless and incredibly tragic,” O’Hara said. “I personally reacted to that horrific scene… . Our hearts break for the families and loved ones of these innocent young victims who had their whole lives ahead of them. Although the MPD made an arrest in this case, our investigation continues to ensure that the best evidence possible is presented to prosecute this offender for his crimes to the fullest extent of the law. And the MPD will remain committed to supporting the victims’ families throughout this process.”
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