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Driver hits protesters in Minneapolis, killing 31-year-old woman and injuring others

Paul Walsh, John Reinan, Paul Walsh and John Reinan, Star Tribune on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS – A man drove into a group of protesters, killing one woman and injuring others at an Uptown Minneapolis intersection late Sunday.

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. Two more people from the incident later sought medical attention at nearby hospitals, said police spokesman John Elder.

The driver was hospitalized for treatment of injuries after some of the protesters "began to strike" him, Elder said. Conditions of the injured protesters 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.

Garrett Knajdek said his sister, Deona M. Knajdek, of Minneapolis, was the protester who was killed. She was to have celebrated her 32nd birthday on Wednesday.

 

"She was using her car as a street blockade, and another vehicle struck her vehicle and her vehicle struck her," the 29-year-old brother said, who learned the details from police and his mother.

He said his sister, a mother to daughters ages 11 and 13, was active about many issues surrounding justice.

"She constantly sacrificing herself for everyone around her," he said, "no matter the cost, obviously."

Identities of the driver and those who were injured have yet to be released.

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