Bail set at $1 million for suspect in Minneapolis crash that killed 5

A crowd gathers at a funeral.
Thousands of mourners congregated at Garden of Eden Islamic Cemetery on Monday to bury Sabiriin Ali, Sahra Gesaade, Salma Abdikadir, Sagal Hersi, and Siham Odhowa. The five young women were killed last week in Minneapolis when a speeding driver crashed into the vehicle they were riding in.
Aaron Nesheim | Sahan Journal

Bail has been set at $1 million for the Brooklyn Park man charged with causing a crash that killed five young women in Minneapolis last week.

Derrick John Thompson faces five counts of criminal vehicular homicide for operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and five counts of criminal vehicular homicide for leaving the crash scene.

Prosecutors allege Thompson was driving 95 miles per hour when he exited Interstate 35W onto Lake Street, ran a red light and broadsided the car with the young women.

The victims were identified as Sabiriin Ali, 17, of Bloomington; Salma Abdikadir, 20, of St. Louis Park; Sahra Gesaade, 20, of Brooklyn Center; Sagal Hersi, 19, of Minneapolis; and Siham Odhowa, 19, of Minneapolis.

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Thompson was brought into Hennepin County District Court in a wheelchair for his first appearance Friday afternoon. Medical personnel confirmed he had a broken hip after the crash, according to the complaint.

After charges were filed, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said Thompson has “caused immeasurable pain and suffering in multiple states,” and that she’ll seek a sentence that appropriately reflects the devastation he caused.

“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,” Moriarty said.

A collage of five young women.
Leaders from the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center identified the young woman who died as (from top left, clockwise) Saga Hersi, 19, Minneapolis; Siham Odhowa, 19, Minneapolis; Sabiriin Ali, 17, Bloomington; Salma Abdikadir, 20, St. Louis Park; and Sahra Gesaade, 20, Brooklyn Center.
Courtesy photos

A blood sample was taken from Thompson after the crash but the results are still pending. Thompson was previously convicted for a 2018 crash in California that critically injured one woman. The state charges against Thompson note that his license was revoked in 2018 after he was convicted of fleeing police, but was reinstated this March.

Thompson is the son of former state lawmaker and activist John Thompson, who rose to prominence after his coworker Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. 

Thompson is also facing federal charges for illegal possession of a firearm and fentanyl. Officers at the scene of the crash said in the criminal complaint that they found a loaded pistol with an extended magazine and three bags containing more than 2,000 fentanyl pills, some cocaine, ecstasy, and a digital scale.

Thompson's next appearance in court has been scheduled for July 21.