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Teen arrested in connection to hit-and-run that killed 70-year-old St. Paul woman

Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection to Hang's death on July 17, 2022.

ST PAUL, Minn — Just over a month after a St. Paul woman was killed in a hit-and-run crash involving a stolen car, police say they've made an arrest in the case.

On Friday, St. Paul Police announced they arrested a 15-year-old boy on Aug. 16 in connection to 70-year-old Phoua Hang's death. The Ramsey County Attorney's Office filed a petition against the teenager that includes one count  of criminal vehicular homicide and a motion for certification in connection to the hit-and-run death. His next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5 in Ramsey County juvenile court.

"Our hearts go out to the Hang family who lost their wife, mother and grandmother in this senseless tragedy. We will work diligently to achieve justice on behalf of the Hang family and our greater community," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement.

"While we know there is significant public interest in learning about this case, we will be as transparent as possible given the constraints under Minnesota law due to the young person’s age," Choi said.

On July 17, Hang was killed when a stolen Kia slammed into the car she was riding in with her husband of 50 years, who was driving. The Kia was stolen out of Minneapolis, and following the accident witnesses reported that they saw the vehicle speeding and driving recklessly just before the crash near Forest Street and Magnolia Avenue, east of Highway 61.

Police said the suspects in the stolen car fled from the scene after the crash.

"As we have expressed before, Phoua Thao Hang was the singular most important person in our lives," Hang's family said in a statement released by St. Paul Police. "Her life, her abiding love for her family, her deep cultural knowledge and farming wisdom (which she open-heartedly shared), her zest and curiosity for all things, her kind and caring nature, and the thousands of untold stories, blessings, and life lessons she had yet to impart were all stolen from her, and from us, on July 17."

Phoua, who was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, was a well-known member of the St. Paul community and staple at the St. Paul Farmer's Market. Mayor Melvin Carter, who has known Hang's family for 20 years, called her an "incredible individual" at a press conference last month.

St. Paul Police and the Ramsey County Attorney's Office continue to investigate and prosecute the case.

Read the full statement from Phoua Hang's family below:

"On July 17, 2022, Phoua Thao Hang was senselessly and tragically killed. Today’s developments are a first–and an important–step forward in the pursuit of accountability and justice.

On behalf of Phoua Thao Hang’s family and the many people who loved her, we would like to thank the Saint Paul Police Department and all of law enforcement for the time they have dedicated to investigating this crime and for their continued dedication and efforts on the case. We also want to thank the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for their dedication and efforts now and in the future to prosecute this crime to the full extent of the law.

As we have expressed before, Phoua Thao Hang was the singular most important person in our lives. Her life, her abiding love for her family, her deep cultural knowledge and farming wisdom (which she open-heartedly shared), her zest and curiosity for all things, her kind and caring nature, and the thousands of untold stories, blessings, and life lessons she had yet to impart were all stolen from her, and from us, on July 17.

This is not right, and those responsible must be held accountable. Please continue to extend us kindness and privacy as we prepare a traditional Hmong funeral and mourn our beloved."

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