Derrick Thompson charged with criminal vehicular homicide; feds add gun, drug charges

Questions are still being raised as to how Thompson was able to get his driver's license reinstated.

Derrick John Thompson/Hennepin County Jail

Derrick John Thompson has been charged in both state and federal court related to the deadly Lake Street crash last Friday that took the lives of five young women.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) announced on Thursday that Thompson, 27, of Brooklyn Park has been charged with 10 felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the deaths of Sabiriin Ali, 17, Sahra Gesaade, 20, Salma Abdikadir, 20, Sagal Hersi, 19, and Siham Adan, 19, all of whom were pronounced deceased at the scene.

The 10 state charges involve five counts of operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and five counts of causing and leaving the scene of the collision.

The women’s vehicle was traveling westbound on East Lake Street and was t-boned by Thompson’s vehicle which was exiting onto East Lake Street from Interstate 35W at a high rate of speed. Metro Transit street camera video obtained by reporter Liz Collin showed the devastating moment of impact which appears to obliterate the women’s vehicle.

The criminal complaint describes that just after 10 p.m., the vehicle Thompson is alleged to have been driving was clocked by radar at 95 mph in a 55-mph zone by a State Trooper stationed at 46th Street in Minneapolis.

The complaint states that the black Cadillac Escalade was also weaving in and out of traffic lanes in a reckless manner. The Trooper attempted to catch up to the black Cadillac Escalade. However, prior to the Trooper catching up to the Escalade and attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the Escalade, which was traveling in the far-left lane, abruptly cut across all four lanes of traffic and exited I-35W at the Lake Street exit ramp at a high rate of speed. The Trooper never activated their emergency lights or sirens.

The Escalade continued to travel at a high rate of speed northbound down the exit ramp and through the 2nd Avenue and East Lake Street intersection. The Escalade did not stop or slow down for the red light at the intersection but proceeded through the intersection at a high rate of speed, according to the complaint. At the same time, a black Honda Civic, that contained the five women, had the green light and was lawfully traveling westbound on East Lake Street through the intersection. The Escalade collided violently with the Honda Civic and t-boned the Honda Civic on the driver side of the vehicle in the middle of the intersection, causing catastrophic damage to both vehicles. The Escalade crashed into the Honda Civic with enough force to crush the Honda Civic, pushing the Honda Civic out of the intersection and pinning it against the wall of the I-35W bridge. The criminal complaint confirms that the crash was caught on video surveillance cameras in the area.

The state complaint also says that during a search of the vehicle officers discovered a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine with live ammunition in the magazine.

A gun and ammunition allegedly found inside Thompson’s rented Cadillac (US Attorney for MN)

Police also found over 250 grams, including over 2,000 individual pills, of suspected narcotics which field-tested positive for fentanyl, thirteen additional pills which field-tested positive for MDMA, and approximately 35.6 grams of white powder which field-tested positive for cocaine.

Drugs allegedly found in Thompson’s rented Cadillac (US Attorney for MN)

Officers located a Hertz rental car receipt on the ground right outside the Cadillac which listed the renter as “Derrick Thompson.” The receipt indicated that the date and time of the rental was June 16, 2023, at 9:46 p.m., approximately 24 minutes before the crash. Officers were able to confirm that there was video surveillance footage from Hertz of Thompson renting the black Cadillac Escalade from Hertz at the MSP Airport.

A warrant was obtained for a blood draw from Thompson, and those results are still pending as are results from DNA swabs collected from inside the vehicle, the complaint states. Thompson was hospitalized until Monday when he was booked into Hennepin County Jail. The HCAO was granted a charging extension on Wednesday which allowed them more time to review evidence prior to charging on Thursday.

Following the HCAO announcement of charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota announced additional federal charges against Thompson on counts of possession of a firearm as a felon, possession of fentanyl, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The federal charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison.

Thompson has a history of felony convictions which prohibit him from possessing firearms. The HCAO press release said that Thompson also has numerous past charges and convictions for driving after suspension and driving after revocation. Thompson’s Minnesota driver’s license was revoked in 2018 after he was convicted for fleeing police in a motor vehicle. However, Thompson’s license was reinstated in March 2023, the HCAO said. Questions are still being raised as to how Thompson was able to get his driver’s license reinstated.

Thompson was released from prison in January after serving just three years of an eight-year sentence in connection to a California hit-and-run that put a woman in a coma, the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed. Thompson was “released to parole supervision in Ventura County after serving his full sentence as defined by law,” a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson said. Thompson was then transferred to the supervision of the Minnesota Department of Corrections in March of this year to complete his parole.

No attorney is yet listed in court records for Thompson, who is the son of disgraced former DFL State Rep. John Thompson. The younger Thompson is being held on $1 million bail. His first court appearance on the state charges is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m. in front of Judge Carolina Lamas.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.


Crime Watch MN

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.