A 33-year-old driver and one of his passengers have been charged with fueling a high-speed gun battle in Minneapolis two weeks ago that ended in a crash that killed a young woman standing on a downtown street corner.
Christopher L. Walker of Minneapolis was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of illegal possession of a firearm in connection with the late-night gunfire at a busy North Loop intersection on Oct. 6 that killed Autumn Rose Merrick, 18, of Minneapolis, who was riding a scooter outside a hotel near Target Field.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Walker, who's accused of being one of the drivers.
Charged with the same counts Wednesday was Marvel G. Williams, 33, who allegedly was sitting next to Walker during the rolling confrontation. Prosecutors allege that a gun recovered from the crash scene had Williams' DNA on it.
Williams, of Eagan, remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
Walker's criminal history in Minnesota spans his entire adulthood, starting with a burglary conviction in 2007 when he was 18 years old.
He has one more burglary conviction on his record along with being found guilty of assault, illegal weapons possession, obstructing law enforcement and fleeing police.
Williams also has a substantial criminal history in the state that includes three convictions for illegal weapons possession, two for aiding an offender after the fact and drug possession.
According to the criminal complaints:
Police officers responded to the sound of gunfire shortly after 11 p.m. near the intersection of N. 5th Street and N. 6th Avenue. Officers soon saw a black Range Rover speeding into the intersection and then heard a loud crash.
The Range Rover hit a light pole and caught fire. The other vehicle, a silver Dodge Durango, rammed into a building.
Walker, Williams and another person in the Range Rover were seriously hurt. Those three and the Durango's driver were all hospitalized.
A friend with Merrick said the two of them were riding scooters to the Holiday gas station at that intersection and standing on the corner when the Durango "came directly at them at a high rate of speed," the complaint read.
The friend said the Durango hit Merrick, pushed her into the building and left her trapped beneath the vehicle. Officers saw two bullet holes in the Durango.
Video surveillance from a nearby business appears to show the Range Rover chasing the Durango just before they crashed. Surveillance video from elsewhere also shows the Range Rover pursuing the Durango at high speeds.
Police recovered a loaded handgun in the Durango and a handgun in the Range Rover and two more handguns on the ground near the vehicle.
The charges against Walker and Williams disclose the names of the two other men, both in their 30s, in the two vehicles.
As of Wednesday evening, Walker and Williams are the only suspects charged. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.
The Durango's driver continued to be treated at HCMC and was in satisfactory condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482