Family issues statement after 15-year-old arrested in fatal hit-and-run

"This is not right, and those responsible must be held accountable," the family said in a statement.

The scene at Forest and Magnolia Avenue East after a fatal hit-and-run in St. Paul. (SPPD/Twitter)

The family of a 70-year-old St. Paul woman who was killed in a hit-and-run crash last month spoke out this week after a 15-year-old was arrested in connection to the tragedy.

Phoua Hang and her husband were traveling home around 10 p.m. July 17 when they were hit by a stolen vehicle in the area of Forest Street and Magnolia Avenue East.

When officers arrived on scene, they “observed [Hang] in the vehicle bleeding from the head. [Hang] was pronounced dead on scene.”

The suspects (a driver and multiple passengers, according to initial police statements) fled the scene on foot. They were driving a gray Kia Sportage, which was registered as a stolen vehicle out of Minneapolis.

Police announced Friday that a 15-year-old male was arrested Aug. 16 in connection to the case. Due to state law on juvenile cases, police couldn’t release additional information about the suspect.

“Phoua was beloved by her family and everyone who knew her. She connected with hundreds by providing quality food at the St. Paul Farmers Market. Providing closure to Phoua’s family and finding justice for Phoua was paramount for SPPD and the TPSU detectives,” police said in a statement.

Hang’s family released the following statement:

“On July 17, 2022, Phoua Thao Hang was senselessly and tragically killed. Today’s developments are a first – and an important – step forward in the pursuit of accountability and justice.
On behalf of Phoua Thao Hang’s family and the many people who loved her, we would like to thank the Saint Paul Police Department and all of law enforcement for the time they have dedicated to investigating this crime and for their continued dedication and efforts on the case.
We also want to thank the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for their dedication and efforts now and in the future to prosecute this crime to the full extent of the law.
As we have expressed before, Phoua Thao Hang was the singular most important person in our lives. Her life, her abiding love for her family, her deep cultural knowledge and farming wisdom (which she open-heartedly shared), her zest and curiosity for all things, her kind and caring nature, and the thousands of untold stories, blessings, and life lessons she had yet to impart were all stolen from her, and from us, on July 17.
This is not right, and those responsible must be held accountable.
Please continue to extend us kindness and privacy as we prepare a traditional Hmong funeral and mourn our beloved.”

St. Paul police said they will “continue the pursuit of closure and justice for Phoua Hang.”

 

Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and reported for The Daily Caller.