Minneapolis, MN – One woman was killed and three other people were wounded when a man drove an SUV through a group of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday night.
The incident occurred at about 11:39 p.m. on June 13 in Uptown at West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South where a group of people were protesting the officer-involved fatal shooting of Winston “Boogie” Smith, WCCO reported.
Witnesses said the driver of the SUV was going at a high rate of speed and appeared to accelerate before he slammed into the protesters, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Minneapolis police said that after the man drove his SUV through the crowd, he was pulled from the vehicle by protesters.
Two people were transported to the hospital by ambulance and two more sought treatment for minor injuries at nearby hospitals on their own, WCCO reported.
One of the victims was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Relatives have identified her as 31-year-old Deona Knajdek, WCCO.
Knadjek’s brother said he saw video of the incident that showed his sister using her car to block traffic in the intersection.
“She was using her car as a street blockade, and another vehicle struck her vehicle and her vehicle struck her,” 29-year-old Garrett Knajdek told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He said the video showed the SUV slammed into Knadjek’s car before it struck the protesters.
The preliminary police investigation indicated that investigators believed drugs or alcohol may have played a role in the incident, but no other information regarding a motive has been released, WCCO reported.
Police arrested a 35-year-old man at the scene, according to Hennepin County Jail records.
The records showed that the man did not have a valid driver’s license because of multiple prior DUI offenses, WCCO reported.
He was booked into the detention facility on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license, and giving false information to the police.
But the chaos at the scene didn’t die down after the driver was arrested and taken away, WCCO reported.
Someone fired a gun into the air near the crash scene early on Monday morning, allegedly in an attempt to keep cars out of the area.
Police responded and arrested the armed person, who witnesses also said had also been throwing objects at drivers, WCCO reported.
Another group gathered in the intersection just after sunrise in an attempt to block traffic during the early morning commute.
Protests have been ongoing in the area since Smith was fatally shot by a U.S. Marshals task force the first week of June.
Rioters vandalized businesses and set dumpsters on fire near the scene hours after Smith was shot.
The shooting occurred at about 2:10 p.m. on June 3 near West Lake Street and Freemont Avenue South when members of the task force attempted to arrest the fugitive, KSTP reported.
The U.S. Marshals Services (USMS) said the suspect had a warrant for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
The task force, which was largely made up of local law enforcement but did not include any Minneapolis police officers, said the suspect was sitting in a parked car when officers tried to take him into custody, KSTP reported.
USMS said the suspect ignored officers’ commands and drew a handgun, according to Reuters.
“During the incident, the subject, who was in a parked car, failed to comply and produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject,” the official USMS statement read.
Smith was fatally shot and pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, KSTP reported.
The armed fugitive was on probation for an aggravated robbery conviction from 2017 and had failed to appear for sentencing in May on an unrelated firearm conviction in Ramsey County, which led to the state issuing a warrant for his arrest.