The son of a disgraced former Minnesota state representative has been arrested in connection with a crash that killed four young women and a teenage girl, police said.
Derrick John Thompson, the 27-year-old son of former Democratic Rep. John Thompson, was booked Monday on suspicion of murder after he allegedly blew through a red light in Minneapolis on Friday night and plowed into the victims’ car at 95 miles an hour—killing all five at the scene.
Law enforcement said he fled the site after the crash. But authorities arrested Thompson after searching the area and took him to a nearby hospital that night, before his eventual booking on Monday, police said.
Court records obtained by KSTP-TV show that Thompson has a prior felony conviction stemming from a 2018 hit-and-run. He got an eight-year prison sentence for that crime in 2020, but was released earlier this year.
Thompson’s driver’s license was revoked after he was convicted for fleeing a police officer in 2017. It was reinstated earlier this month—just over a week before the deadly crash on Friday.
Thompson’s father, John Thompson, was a one-term lawmaker who represented St. Paul from 2021 to 2023. He was defeated in a primary election last year amid a number of looming controversies, including domestic violence allegations and questions over whether he lived in the district he represented.
Rep. Thompson was also accused of whisking his daughter away from a traffic stop last year before cops could administer a field sobriety test, and of characterizing his own traffic stop a year earlier as a case of “driving while Black.” (He was pulled over for driving without a front license plate and driving under suspension.)
The Minneapolis Police Department is investigating how Derrick Thompson’s name was shared with the media on Monday. It’s also investigating the source of the “graphic video,” which was taken from Metro Transit surveillance and leaked to the public without authorization.
“Both are very concerning,” Chief Brian O’Hara said in a statement, calling the crash “senseless and incredibly tragic.”
“Our hearts break for the families and loved ones of these innocent young victims who had their entire lives ahead of them,” the statement said. “While the MPD has made an arrest in this case, our investigation continues relentlessly, so that we can ensure the strongest possible evidence is provided to prosecute this offender for his crimes to the fullest extent of the law. And the MPD will remain committed to providing support to the victims’ families throughout this process.”
The five women were close friends and were reportedly shopping for a friend’s wedding the night of the crash. They were all members of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center mosque in Bloomington, led by Khalid Omar, who called the women “pearls of the community—and the brightness of our future,” in an interview with KSTP-TV.
“Losing anyone, that’s a tragedy,” Omar told CBS Minnesota. “But losing five young people at the same time is something that is very hard to process.”