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Fatal Hit-&-Run In Mpls.; Police Need Help Identifying Driver

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are asking for the public’s help to locate and identify a suspect in a deadly hit-and-run from over the weekend.

Police say they were notified of the crash around 2:40 a.m. Saturday. Officers responded to the scene at 3rd Street North and 1st Avenue in Minneapolis and learned that a 20-year-old man was struck by a vehicle that was traveling westbound on 3rd Street.

The victim, identified as Austin Conley, was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition. He later died from his injuries.

Freeman Carter and Dejon Wattley were standing inches away from their friend Conley when that car plowed into him and sped off.

Both said Conley was downtown to pick them up and they had plans to go to his dorm room at Augsburg College to just hang out. All that changed in just the blink of an eye.

They were with Conley, a childhood friend, on 3rd Street North when something struck the car they were in.

“Somebody threw a rock at the car, so as a result to that we got out the car to see who threw the rock immediately,” said Wattley.

Wattley was the first to walk across the street to a group of people to investigate. When he learned they had nothing to do with it, he told his two friends. By that time, Carter and Conley had just crossed the street, so they turned around and headed back to the car.

“Austin is one step behind me and it happened. So, it just happened so quick,” said Carter.

The car just missed Freeman, but hit Conley, sending him flying into the air. The car sped off before Conley hit the ground. They say the car sped off towards Interstate 94.

“Our friend did not deserve to die. Our friend had a future,” said Wattley.

Austin was a student at Augsburg College. His friends say whoever caused his death, hurt a lot of people

No one is in custody. Police are asking anyone who may have information to call (612) 673-2941.

The suspect vehicle is described as a dark-colored four-door sedan, possibly a Chevy Lumina, with front end damage.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for vital information in this case.

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