Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announces charges against Derrick John Thompson
Hennepin County Attorney, U.S. Attorney coordinate on additional drug, gun charges
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty today announced that Derrick John Thompson, 27, of Brooklyn Park, has been charged in Hennepin County District Court with 10 counts of criminal vehicular homicide after Thompson’s grossly negligent and criminally reckless driving conduct led to a crash on June 16 that killed five young women. Moriarty added that the office will seek a separate sentence for each victim if Thompson is convicted. While these charges have been filed, additional evidence is still being processed, including Thompson’s blood toxicology and DNA testing.
Law enforcement responding to the scene of the crash also recovered a Glock 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, along with significant quantities of fentanyl from Thompson’s vehicle. As the County Attorney’s Office began its review of the evidence in this case, Moriarty engaged in discussions with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI about possible federal charges related to the firearm and narcotics.
“The deaths of these five young women is devastating for their loved ones and has shaken our community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said. “We value each of these young women’s lives and plan to seek a separate sentence for each life lost. I firmly believe in the potential for redemption and second chances, but Mr. Thompson has repeatedly engaged in extraordinarily dangerous criminal driving conduct related to apparent large-scale drug dealing. He has caused immeasurable pain and suffering in multiple states and we will seek a significant sentence that appropriately reflects the devastation he has caused and ensures a lengthy period of incapacitation.”
“When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you control a dangerous weapon capable of inflicting horrific destruction. Every driver must recognize that fact. We cannot tolerate this level of recklessness on our roads, especially when it comes with the dangerous combination of guns and drugs.”
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office:
On or about June 16, 2023, at approximately 10:09 p.m., a Minnesota State Trooper was stationed in a fully marked Minnesota State Patrol squad vehicle at the bus stop on I-35W North at 46th Street in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, when the Trooper observed a black Cadillac Escalade SUV traveling northbound on I-35W drive by the Trooper at a high rate of speed. The radar on the Trooper’s squad vehicle indicated the black Cadillac Escalade was traveling 95 mph in a 55-mph zone. 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 black Cadillac Escalade and attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the black Cadillac Escalade, which was traveling in the far-left lane, abruptly cut across all four lanes of traffic and exited I-35 at the Lake Street exit ramp at a high rate of speed. The Trooper never activated their emergency lights or sirens.
The black Cadillac 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 black Cadillac 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. At the same time, a black Honda Civic had the green light and was lawfully traveling westbound on East Lake Street through the intersection. The black Cadillac Escalade collided violently with the black Honda Civic and t-boned the black Honda Civic on the driver side of the vehicle in the middle of the intersection causing catastrophic damage to both vehicles. The black Cadillac Escalade crashed into the Black Honda Civic with enough force to crush the black Honda Civic, pushing the black Honda Civic out of the intersection and pinning it against the wall of the I-35W bridge. The crash was caught on video surveillance cameras in the area.
The five occupants of the black Honda Civic were subsequently identified. The driver of black Honda Civic was identified as adult female victim S.G., age 20. The front seat passenger was identified as adult female victim S.O., age 19. The back seat passengers were identified as adult female victims S.A., age 20, and S.H., age 19, and a known juvenile female victim, age 17.
The Trooper observed the crash from approximately 0.15 miles to the south and activated his lights and emergency sirens to respond to the crash. The Trooper immediately went to the black Honda Civic. The Trooper observed that the black Honda Civic had extensive damage and all five victims in the Honda Civic had no signs of life and were deceased. EMS subsequently arrived at the scene and pronounced all five victims deceased.
The black Cadillac Escalade also had significant damage throughout the vehicle. Routine checks revealed the black Cadillac Escalade was a rented vehicle from a Hertz Rental Car located at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International (“MSP”) Airport.
Minneapolis Police Officers and other State Troopers arrived shortly thereafter. Officers located a Hertz rental car receipt on the ground right outside the black Cadillac Escalade. The rental car receipt listed the renter as “Derrick Thompson.” The driver was later fully identified as DERRICK JOHN THOMPSON, the Defendant herein. 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 Defendant renting the black Cadillac Escalade from Hertz at the MSP Airport.
Officers spoke to witness A. Witness A informed officers that they observed the accident and saw Defendant exit the vehicle and flee the scene on foot. Witness A provided a detailed physical description of Defendant and the clothing Defendant was wearing. Witness A also informed officers that Defendant was limping as he fled the scene. Witness B informed officers that he observed Defendant flee the scene after the accident and informed officers that Defendant was nearby at Taco Bell.
Defendant was subsequently located near the scene of the crash at Taco Bell. Defendant was sitting on the curb in the parking lot of Taco Bell. Defendant also had injuries consistent with being in a car accident. Defendant was bleeding from a laceration on his forehead, had blood on his hands and clothing, and was sweating profusely. Officers inquired with Defendant about how he sustained his injuries. Defendant initially told officers, “I cut myself. This is old. This is an old cut.” Officers informed Defendant that his injuries looked recent. Defendant then told officers that he was injured when he “fell” earlier in the night. Defendant then provided officers with his photo identification.
Defendant was arrested, and officers observed Defendant was walking with a limp. A show-up was conducted with Witness A. Witness A positively identified Defendant as the driver of the black Cadillac Escalade and the individual they observed flee the scene after the crash. Witness A was “one hundred percent” positive in their identification of Defendant.
Defendant was subsequently transported to the hospital for medical treatment. Medical personnel confirmed Defendant had a broken hip.
On June 20, 2023, a known witness came to the police precinct and provided officers with cell phone video of the crash. In the video, Defendant approaches the witness’s car after the crash and asks the witness to give him a ride.
Officers obtained a search warrant to collect blood from the Defendant. Officers executed the search warrant. The results of the blood draw are still pending.
Officers obtained a search warrant to search the black Cadillac Escalade. During the search of the vehicle, officers discovered a Glock 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine with live ammunition in the magazine. Officers also discovered 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. Police also collected swabs for DNA testing from inside the vehicle. Results of the DNA testing are still pending.
Routine checks also revealed Defendant has the following prior convictions:
Felony evading police causing injury or death, felony hit-and-run resulting in serious bodily injury or death, and felony conspiracy (18-CR-08-676) (2020, California);
Fleeing police in a motor vehicle and false information to police (62-CR-17-7622) on May 7, 2018; and
Fifth Degree Drug Possession (62-CR-15-4853) on October 1, 2015.
Defendant’s driving record includes numerous charges and convictions for driving after suspension and driving after revocation. Defendant’s Minnesota driver’s license was revoked in 2018 after he was convicted for fleeing police in a motor vehicle. Defendant’s license was reinstated in March 2023.
Defendant has been discharged from the hospital and is in custody.
To ensure a fair court process, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will have no further comment while the case is pending unless additional evidence develops that impacts charges.
Derrick John Thompson complaint (PDF)