Derrick Thompson charged: Fatal crash in Minneapolis leads to 10 vehicular homicide charges

Following a fatal crash that left five women dead on Lake Street in Minneapolis, Derrick Thompson has been charged with 10 counts total of criminal vehicular homicide, including five counts of operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and five counts of leaving the scene. The total amounts to two charges for each victim.

Thompson, 27, the son of former state Rep. John Thompson, was booked on June 19 in Hennepin County Jail on probable cause murder – the same day. The victims - 20-year-old Sahra Gesaade, 20-year-old Salma Abdikadir, 19-year-old Segal Hersey, 19-year-old Siham Adam, and 17-year-old Sabiriin Ali - were laid to rest on Monday in Burnsville.

According to charges, on June 16, at approximately 10:09 p.m., a Minnesota State Trooper was stationed at the bus stop on I-35W North at 46th Street in Minneapolis, when they observed a black Cadillac Escalade SUV traveling north driving at 95 mph in a 55 mph zone, while also "weaving in and out of traffic lanes in a reckless manner."

The Trooper attempted to catch up to the Cadillac Escalade, but prior to attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the black Cadillac Escalade abruptly exited I-35W at the Lake Street exit.

The Cadillac Escalade continued to travel at a high rate of speed down the exit ramp and through the 2nd Avenue and East Lake Street intersection, and did not slow down for the red light ahead, according to charges.

At the same time, a black Honda Civic had the green light and was traveling westbound on East Lake Street through the intersection. The Cadillac Escalade then collided with the Honda Civic, causing a T-bone crash hitting the Honda Civic on the driver side of the vehicle in the middle of the Intersection, according to charges.

Charges state the crash caused "catastrophic damage to both vehicles," with the Cadillac Escalade hitting the Honda Civic with enough force to push it out of the intersection – pinning it against the wall of the I-35W bridge. The crash was caught on video surveillance cameras in the area. The Trooper who saw the crash observed that the Honda Civic had extensive damage, and all five victims had no signs of life. 

Minneapolis police officers and additional State Troopers arrived shortly after, and police located a Hertz rental car receipt on the ground outside the Cadillac Escalade, with the listed name of "Derrick Thompson" as the renter. The listed time of rental was 9:46 p.m., approximately 24 minutes before the crash, charges said. 

Police spoke with a witness who informed officers that they observed the accident and saw Thompson exit the vehicle and flee the scene on foot with a limp. The court documents said another witness told police that he believed Thompson was at a nearby Taco Bell.

Thompson was later located near the scene of the crash at Taco Bell, sitting on the curb in the parking lot. Police say he had injuries consistent with being in a car accident, according to charges, and was bleeding from a laceration on his forehead, with blood on his hands and clothing, and sweating.

Charges state that when police asked Thompson how he sustained the injuries, he told officers, "I cut myself. This is old. This is an old cut" and that he injured himself when he "fell" earlier in the evening.

Thompson was arrested, and officers observed he was walking with a limp, according to charges. After a "show-up" was conducted, the first witness said they were "100%" sure it was Thompson that had previously left the scene of the crash.

Thompson was subsequently transported to the hospital for medical treatment, with a confirmed broken hip.

On June 20, a known witness provided police with cell phone video of the crash, in which Thompson approaches the witnesses’ car and asks for a ride.

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Photos from federal charges of the alleged contents of Thompson's vehicle.

From: FOX 9

According to charges, police obtained a search warrant to search the Cadillac Escalade, during which officers discovered a Glock 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine and live ammunition in the magazine. Officers also discovered more than 250 grams – including more than 2,000 individual pills – of suspected narcotics, which tested positive for fentanyl. An additional 13 pills tested positive for MDMA, and approximately 35.6 grams of white powder tested positive for cocaine.

Police have also obtained a search warrant to collect blood, the results of the blood draw are still pending. 

Thompson faces additional charges in federal court for the firearm and drugs found inside the vehicle. The Department of Justice said Thompson was charged with possession of a firearm as a felon, possession of fentanyl, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the charges, Thompson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.

He will make his appearance in federal court at a later date.

"The deaths of these five young women is devastating for their loved ones and has shaken our community," Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement. "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."

Legal troubles

Thompson also has previous legal troubles stemming from a crash in California.

Thompson pleaded guilty in 2020 to crashing into a pedestrian, who was vacationing in Montecito, California in 2018 at the time. The crash left her with a traumatic brain injury, her attorney told FOX 9. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, though prosecutors wanted 10 years, in part because Thompson had a history of fleeing police.

"The victim in that case has made a recovery, but it will never be complete. There will be residual effects as a result of the criminal actions of Mr. Thompson," said Santa Barbara County District Attorney John Savrnoch, whose office prosecuted the 2018 case. 

He was released from California state prison on Jan. 19, 2023, to parole supervision, according to the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Under an interstate compact, which is designed to regulate the movement of probationers and parolees across state lines, Thompson would be supervised by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and California prison officials would continue to receive updates. 

Savrnoch said Thompson was released early from prison due to time served while awaiting trial and also his participation in California’s Conservation (Fire) Camp Program, which teaches inmates how to fight wildfires. In total, he was incarcerated for a little more than four years.

After Thompson’s release, he moved back to Minnesota. Officials with Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety confirmed Thompson’s driver’s license was reinstated in March and is currently active. However, he does have a pending insurance withdrawal that begins on July 5.

Looking into his record in Minnesota, FOX 9 learned that Thompson has a history of traffic violations and was convicted of fleeing a police officer in 2017, driving after revocation in 2018, and driving after suspension twice in 2014.

Thompson is scheduled to make his first appearance in court for the deadly Minneapolis crash on Friday.