2 men charged in death of Autumn Merrick, bystander killed on scooter after gunfight, crash
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Two men have been charged in the death of a bystander killed in a crash that followed a gunfight near Target Field in Minneapolis.
Autumn Merrick, 18, was killed while riding a scooter on the sidewalk near the intersection of Fifth Street and Sixth Avenue North on Oct. 6. Two SUVs crashed after a gunfight, killing Merrick and sending the three SUV occupants to the hospital in serious condition.
Marvel Galvaston Williams, 33, was the front seat passenger in the Range Rover that crashed into a light pole and caught on fire. He was taken into custody on Oct. 7 "on another matter," according to a criminal complaint and Hennepin County Jail records. On Wednesday, he was formally charged with two counts of second-degree murder with intent — for aiding and abetting as well as attempt to commit — and also with felony possession of a firearm.
Christopher London Walker, 33, was the driver of the Range Rover. He was charged Tuesday with two counts of second-degree murder with intent — for aiding and abetting as well as attempt to commit — and felony possession of a firearm. There is a warrant out for his arrest. Each man has preliminary bail set at $1 million.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman Garrett Parten told KSTP he is working to attain the status of the third Ranger Rover passenger and driver of the silver Dodge Durango.
According to two criminal complaints, at 11:09 p.m. on Oct. 6, Metro Transit Police heard gunfire at the intersection of Fifth Street and Sixth Avenue North and saw the Ranger Rover driving fast through the intersection. They then heard a loud crash.
The Range Rover had crashed into a light pole and caught fire; the Durango had crashed into a building. Body camera video and witness statements helped identify Walker as the Range Rover’s driver and Williams as its passenger, the complaint states. Officers helped Walker, Williams and the third occupant.
As more officers arrived, they found Merrick, who was declared dead at the scene despite first responders attempting life-saving measures.
A witness who was with Merrick told police they were driving scooters to a Holiday gas station across from the scene. According to the complaint, the pair was standing on the corner when the Durango hit Merrick and "pushed her directly into the building." The witness said Merrick was stuck under the car and she helped pull her out.
Surveillance video showed the Durango enter the intersection, hit Merrick and drive straight into a building, the complaint states. The Range Rover then crashed into a light pole and burst into flames. Surveillance video from around the city showed the Range Rover chasing the Durango.
In the Durango, police found a jammed semi-automatic handgun, two other handguns in the passenger seat and a third semi-automatic handgun on the sidewalk nearby, the complaint states. In the Range Rover, there was a small semi-automatic handgun. There were two bullet holes in the Durango and bullet casings discarded along Sixth Avenue North.
The Element Hotel’s front entrance window, which is near the scene of the crash, was damaged and police found a slug near the door, according to the complaint. DNA from a Ruger pistol found near the passenger side of the Range Rover helped identify Williams as a participant in the crime. He also has a 2017 conviction related to a homicide.
Williams remains in custody in Hennepin County Jail. His first court appearance is set for Thursday.
Merrick’s death was the 74th homicide in Minneapolis this year.