Police are investigating two carjackings in Minneapolis that happened late Monday afternoon, one of which targeted a prominent community activist.
Officers responded at about 3:48 p.m. to the 2800 block of Franklin Avenue East on a report of an armed robbery and carjacking. During the robbery, the victim — Twin Cities Somali activist Abdirizak Bihi — was sprayed with a chemical irritant to force compliance of stealing the vehicle.
Officers observed the stolen vehicle in the area and a traffic stop was initiated. The vehicle fled the scene and the officer pursued.
After a brief pursuit, the suspect hit a support column in front of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Washington Avenue South. Police took a juvenile boy into custody.
At 4:09 pm, police responded to a report of an assault and carjacking in the area of 14th Avenue South and 18th Street East. Police learned that an adult woman was sprayed with a chemical irritant and her vehicle was stolen.
Authorities later located the vehicle, and it was found abandoned.
Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder has confirmed it is likely these carjackings are related.
The investigation is underway.