Today’s entry in the saga of Murderapolis is another wake-up call for a city in crisis: “Woman run down chasing robber.” Joy Powell writes in tomorrow’s Star Tribune:
As her son and others young and old watched in horror, a 62-year-old woman was run over Saturday afternoon at a south Minneapolis gasoline station. She had just chased a robber who had snatched her $50 bill, only to be run down by his getaway driver.
Police officers rushed to the scene and tried to save the woman, but she was pronounced dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center.
Police had made no arrests by Saturday evening, though they did locate the car used in the vehicular homicide, said Lt. Lee Edwards.
The woman, who was from Minneapolis, was robbed and run down at the Motomart gas station along Hiawatha Avenue at E. 33rd Street.
Unlike so many crime scenes, when reluctant witnesses disappear, those at this scene quickly came forward to help police.
“They were just as appalled as we were,” Edwards said.
Among the witnesses were a boy and girl with their mother and father.
They gave statements to investigators. The family appeared stunned and sickened as they stepped through the yellow crime-scene tape and got into their car.
“It was a hit-and-run,” the mother said, cupping her palm over her mouth and shaking her head.
Minneapolis’ 39th homicide of the year unfolded on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, within view of the Hiawatha light-rail line and thousands of cars crawling by in a construction zone on Hiawatha Avenue.
A shocking crime
Police spokesman Ron Reier said that he often gets calls about killings committed with guns and knives, but that this one made him cry. This was a woman, he said, who was struck down doing what we all do — simply standing in line to pay for her gasoline.
“Murders are bad,” Reier said. “Shootings are bad. But when you go to a gas station on a Saturday afternoon at 20 minutes to 1, number one, you’re not expecting to be robbed. And number two, you’re not expecting to be murdered. That’s beyond the realm of comprehension.”
As officers tried to reconstruct the hit-and-run scene, where the woman’s white sneakers and purple clothing remained in the parking lot, Edwards recounted what happened:
“She was standing inside the Motomart with some money in her hand. A suspect came in and took the money from her hand. She chased him into the lot by the pump. The suspect got into a vehicle, and she tried to confront them.”
A driver, possibly a woman, ran over the woman as her son watched outside.
“Officer Valerie Goligowski tried valiantly to save the victim’s life by performing CPR on her,” Edwards said.
The station where the woman was run down is well-known to police as a frequent site of drive-offs, in which people drive off without paying for their gasoline. Police have said they fear that such conduct will increase as gas prices soar and hit the poorest harder than anyone.
Ron Edwards, a civic leader who serves on the Police Community Relations Council, said the bold hit-and-run in broad daylight is symptomatic of bigger problems. This pattern of violence has been predicted to sweep through the city, and not as much because of gangs and guns but because of economic desperation, he said.
“Whatever it was for, she didn’t deserve to die,” Edwards said as he watched police work at the Motomart station. “It’s frightening.”
Lt. Lee Edwards said the death of a woman simply for the cash in her hand was as tragic a case as he’s seen.
“It wasn’t enough to lose your life over,” he said, then went back to the crime scene.
The Star Tribune is a key player in the crisis of Minneapolis; it is an instransigent purveyor of the ideological “racial disparities” line of attack on law enforcement that paralyzes the police, and it regularly resorts to sixties-style race hustlers like Ron Edwards as analysts of the city’s crime problem. Pathetic.
For more, see generally Rambix and the Red Star and the timely post: “A fool’s analysis.” On a related note, Peter Swanson rises to my defense at Swanblog and explains how the conversation on the underlying issues has become so stultified in Minnesota: “Muir, Mosedale and Johnson.”