A group of five Minnesota women and teens preparing to attend a friend's wedding party the next day were killed after an SUV trying to speed away from cops hit their car. The five young women were returning home from a mall on Friday night when the car they were traveling in was hit by the speeding SUV, according to police and community leaders.
Tragically, all five occupants of the car were pronounced dead at the scene, according to reports. The victims of the horrific incident have been identified as Sabiriin Ali, 17; Sahra Gesaade, 20; Salma Abdikadir, 20; Sagal Hersi, 19; and Siham Adam, 19.
Tragedy Before Friend's Wedding
The victims began their journey down Lake Street shortly before 10 pm when their car was struck by an SUV that was being chased by a state trooper and had run a red light.
Tragically, all five women were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV has been identified as 27-year-old Derrick John Thompson, as reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Among them, three were cousins, one was a relative, and another was a close friend. All the five dead were getting henna applied and doing other shopping ahead of their friend's Saturday wedding, the Star Tribune reported.
"They weren't doing anything wrong," Khalid Omar, who leads the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center where the five attended, told the newspaper.
"They were just getting ready for their friend's wedding."
Following the crash, Thompson tried to flee the scene but was arrested at a nearby Taco Bell after concerned bystanders contacted the police.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a Minnesota State Police trooper initiated the chase of the SUV on an interstate in south Minneapolis. The vehicle was reportedly traveling at a speed of nearly 100 mph, significantly exceeding the 55 mph speed limit.
The SUV exited the highway before the trooper could pull it over and proceeded to run a red light, resulting in a collision with the women's car.
According to Omar, all five victims were active members of the center's community. "These are pearls of our community. They leave a big void. All five of them had bright futures," he said.
Sabiriin Ali, who recently completed high school, had plans to enroll at the University of Minnesota. The remaining four victims were all currently attending college at the time of the tragedy.
Omar mentioned that in addition to their active participation as members, all five women were dedicated volunteers at the Islamic Center. Ali and her mother served as caretakers, while Abdikadir contributed by teaching children Arabic literacy skills.
The burial for all five victims is scheduled to take place on Monday, honoring their lives and providing an opportunity for their loved ones to pay their final respects.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that the driver, Thompson, is the son of former state rep. John Thompson, who did not return messages from the news outlet seeking comment.
Following the incident, the driver was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation. Police have reported that he underwent tests to determine the presence of drugs and alcohol. As of the latest update, Thompson remains hospitalized.
According to police records cited by the Star Tribune, the driver had multiple convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license. His license had been reinstated in March 2023, just a few months prior to the incident.
The Islamic Center has initiated a public fundraising campaign for the affected families The campaign has garnered a significant response, with donations exceeding $317,000.
"We find ourselves in deep sorrow today, for our community experienced a heartbreaking tragedy last night. We have lost five of our bright, young sisters in a severe car accident. May Allah grant mercy upon the departed and open the doors of Jannah for them," the page read.
"These young Muslim sisters, were shining stars of hope for our future. Unfortunately, their lives were cut short last night by a driver evading the police."