A suspect was arrested on Thursday morning in connection with the murder of a teenage staffer for Lacy Johnson, the Republican challenger to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota). The shooting is not believed to be politically motivated.
The suspect was taken into custody after a high speed pursuit, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. Officers attempted to pull them over, but they fled, leading to the car chase which ended with the suspect crashing their vehicle.
The shooting occurred on Monday at a service station where the assailant approached two Johnson staffers, who were among a group of people. Both were shot, with one sustaining non-life threatening injuries while the other, 17-year-old Andre Conley, died later in hospital. The shooter, who has yet to be identified by police, then fled the scene on foot.
“It is shocking and unnecessary acts of violence like this that prove why change is needed now more than ever in our community,” Johnson tweeted about the attack. He referred to the victims as “young, motivated, [paid] members” of the political campaign’s outreach team, but added that it is not believed the shootings are related to the campaign.
The shootings did not occur during a campaign event or outreach and we do not believe it has any connection to their work for the campaign.”
— Lacy Johnson (@LacyJohnsonMN) September 16, 2020
“I’m not blaming anybody else, but us,” Johnson said at a Wednesday vigil held for Conley. “It’s us. We got to take care of our own kids, we got to look after our own children.”
Police spokesman John Elder said before the arrest that there is no evidence at this time to suggest any political motivation.
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Conley was a senior at Patrick Henry High School. A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help pay for the funeral arrangements, but his family has requested the funds go to the surviving victim as “he needs the help more.”
Johnson is running against Omar in Minnesota’s fifth district. He has pledged to push back against the “defund the police” movement and blasted Omar for “coming up with excuses for rioting and looting” stemming from Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
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