Derrick John Thompson remains in custody on charges of killing five women in a high-speed traffic crash in Minneapolis this past summer.
On top of 10 state felony counts involving criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash, Thompson, 28, has now been federally indicted for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, illegal possession of a firearm, and carrying a firearm in connection to drug trafficking.
Thompson is the son of controversial former state Rep. John Thompson who served one term in the House as a Democrat and lost to his primary challenger in 2022.
According to federal court documents, on June 16, 2023, a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol observed a black Cadillac SUV speeding north on I-35W, traveling at 95 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour speed zone. The trooper observed Thompson abruptly cut across four lanes of traffic to exit the freeway at the Lake Street exit. The trooper began following the SUV but did not initiate the emergency lights or attempt to make a traffic stop because the trooper did not want to cause the driver, later identified as Thompson, 28, to continue to drive recklessly on city streets.
At the intersection of 2nd Avenue South and East Lake Street, Thompson sped through a red light at the intersection without stopping or slowing. The SUV struck at full speed the driver’s side of a Honda Civic that was traveling lawfully through the intersection. All five occupants of the Honda Civic, four adult females and one juvenile female, were killed. When law enforcement responded to the scene of the crash, witnesses told officers that Thompson had fled on foot through a nearby alley. Officers found Thompson sitting on the curb outside of a nearby restaurant. Officers detained Thompson, who was later transported to Hennepin County Medical Center for evaluation.
The moment of the crash impact was captured on nearby surveillance video (graphic).
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
Court documents further state that an officer found at the scene a Hertz rental record for the Cadillac SUV indicating that Thompson rented the vehicle from a Hertz located at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport approximately 30 minutes before the crash. After obtaining a warrant to search the SUV, officers found a black leather bag on the front passenger side floor that contained a loaded Glock pistol with an extended magazine.
Also located during the search were three baggies containing more than 2,000 blue “M-Box 30” fentanyl pills, a baggie containing an additional 14 grams of powder fentanyl, a baggie containing 13 MDMA pills, a baggie containing 35 grams of cocaine, and a digital scale.
Because Thompson has multiple prior felony convictions, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
“These federal charges underscore the seriousness of Mr. Thompson’s criminal actions. We will continue to take an aggressive stance against individuals who engage in armed fentanyl dealing and present grave danger to our community,” said U. S. Attorney Andrew Luger.
In addition Thompson’s felony convictions, a prior press release from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) stated 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.
Thompson was released from a California 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.
Following Thompson’s arrest after the crash, several left-wing groups tried to float false narratives that law enforcement had been engaged in a pursuit with Thompson and had used stop sticks and tried to blame State Patrol for his death.
CAIR-Minnesota even held a press conference after the crash and falsely accused State Patrol of lying about the facts in the case. CAIR tried to demand that Gov. Tim Walz create an independent investigation into the case.
Killed in the crash were Sabiriin Ali, 17, Sahra Gesaade, 20, Salma Abdikadir, 20, Sagal Hersi,19, and Siham Adan, 19.
Barring a plea agreement involving the 10 state charges during a settlement conference scheduled for Dec. 20 in Hennepin County District Court, Thompson is scheduled for a jury trial to begin in February. In September, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office filed a notice of intent to seek aggravated sentencing involving an upward departure from sentencing guidelines due to Thompson’s prior California conviction on a similar offense, his failure to render aid to the victims, and his “greater than normal” danger to the safety of others.
Charges in the federal case are a result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, and the Minneapolis–St. Paul Airport Police Department, in coordination with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
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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.