Minneapolis

Driver hits protesters in Uptown, killing 1

2021-06-14 07:43:39 –

A man drove into and killed a woman among protesters at an Uptown Minneapolis intersection late Sunday before he was pulled from the vehicle and assaulted, authorities said.

The incident occurred about 11:40 p.m. at W. Lake Street and S. Girard Avenue, near where Winston Boogie Smith Jr. was fatally shot by law enforcement on June 3 during an attempt by a U.S. Marshals Service task force to arrest him in a parking ramp.

The woman died after being taken by ambulance to HCMC. A second protester also was struck by the vehicle and taken by ambulance to HCMC.

The driver was hospitalized for treatment of injuries inflicted when some of the protesters “began to strike” him, said police spokesman John Elder. Conditions of the surviving protester and the driver were not immediately known.

Police have yet to determine a motive for the driver’s actions, however, “the use of drugs or alcohol … may be a contributing factor in this crash,” Elder said.

Authorities haven’t identified the driver, the woman who died or the man who was injured.

Video posted on social media from the scene showed a man being hustled down the sidewalk by one man as another yelled, “You’re going to jail! You’re going to jail!”

The man was walked over to police by one protester as others raised their arms and chanted, “Hands up!”

Another protester posted on social media that the woman was sitting down when she was run over.

Several of the witnesses turned their distress toward police officers as they had their pepper spray at the ready while securing the scene ahead of an ambulance arriving.

There have been ongoing protests in Uptown since Smith’s death.

The entry lane to the parking garage where Smith was shot has been painted and repainted at least five times in the past week as activists and the property owner strive for the last word.

Earlier Sunday, a high-profile business announced that it’s pulling out of Uptown after 35 years, citing concerns about crime and social unrest. Juut Salon Spa is a fixture at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street.

“It has become more and more evident that Uptown continues to struggle with store closings, social unrest, crime and street closures,” a Facebook posting by the company read. “We would be heartbroken if anything were to happen to our team members or clients. With that at the forefront, we made this difficult decision.”

Smith, a 32-year-old father of three, was killed after task force members surrounded him on the top floor of the parking garage at Seven Points, the shopping mall formerly known as Calhoun Square. Authorities say he fired a gun from his vehicle as the task force tried to arrest him on a warrant from Ramsey County for being a felon in possession of a gun.

An unidentified woman who was with Smith at the time said she never saw him with a weapon, her attorneys said last week. Authorities have said that no body or dash camera or surveillance footage is available in the case.

Staff writer John Reinan contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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Driver hits protesters in Uptown, killing 1 Source link Driver hits protesters in Uptown, killing 1

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