(MINNEAPOLIS) — At least one person was killed and another was injured when a vehicle plowed into a group of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday night, police said.
The deadly incident occurred in the Uptown neighborhood at around 11:39 p.m. CT. The Minneapolis Police Department said its officers were monitoring a demonstration in the area when a car drove into the crowd. After the collision, protesters confronted the driver.
“Protesters pulled the suspect from the vehicle and, from reports of witnesses, began to strike the driver,” police said in a statement early Monday. “Officers arrived and took custody of the driver.”
Additional squads and several ambulances were called to the scene. Two injured protesters were transported by ambulance to a local hospital. One was in “very critical condition,” while the other had non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The critically injured protester — a woman — has since died at the hospital, according to police.
“The Medical Examiner will release the identity of the victim, along with the nature and cause of death in the days to come,” police said.
The driver was also transported to an area hospital for his injuries. His identity has not been released. However, police said all those involved in the incident are believed to be adults.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the use of drugs or alcohol by the driver may be a contributing factor in this crash,” police said, without specifying what charges the suspect is facing.
The neighborhood where the incident took place has been the scene of ongoing protests since June 3, when members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force shot and killed Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 32-year-old Black father of three who was sitting in a parked vehicle at the time. The U.S. Marshals Service has said that the task force was trying to arrest Smith on a warrant for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun but that he didn’t comply with law enforcement and “produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject.”
Minneapolis has been on edge for the past year since the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed Black man who died on May 25, 2020, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. The incident sparked widespread outrage, anti-racism protests and calls for police reform in the Minnesota city and across the United States. The more recent death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer during a traffic stop in a nearby suburb on April 11, also ignited massive protests in Minneapolis.
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