Loved ones identify woman killed in Uptown as Deona Marie Erickson

She was among the protestors Sunday night when a motorist drove through the crowd.
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Loved ones have identified the woman killed late Sunday night in Uptown as Deona Marie Erickson.

Erickson was among the protesters that had crowded around Lake Street and Girard Avenue, as part of a demonstration against the June 3 fatal law enforcement shooting of Winston Smith nearby. At around 11:39 p.m., a motorist plowed through the gathering, with the chaotic aftermath caught on camera.

Four people were injured in the incident, with Erickson's injuries proving fatal.

Just 24 hours before her death she had just posted on her Facebook page about the significance of the week ahead, noting that she would be marking both her 32nd birthday on Wednesday, and one year sober on Friday.

On Monday morning, her mother shared a photo of Deona Marie, along with a message:

"Here is my beautiful, brave, funny everything daughter Deona Marie. Today she was taken from us while supporting another families cause. The details are in the news and on social media which I have not watched. It has only been 2 hours from the notification and it already feels like a life time. God has you now sweet Poke. I love you too the stars and back abagazillion times. 💚☦️💙"

Erickson had been working as a program manager at The Cottages Group, a Burnsville-based company that provides residential accommodation for people with limited mobility. 

The company said it was "shocked and deeply saddened" by her death.

"Deona was a Program Manager who dedicated her time to overseeing two of our community residential sites, she put her heart into her work. Deona was one of the most selfless people we have had the pleasure of knowing, she earned the respect and trust of those she served because of her true compassion for her work. She will be deeply missed by those she served and served with."

Erickson was originally from Pine City, according to her Facebook page, but living in Minneapolis. Social media paints a portrait of a young woman who loved her children, her puppy and sports (particularly the Vikings and WR Justin Jefferson).

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She was also outspoken about law enforcement and police shootings, and in the days before her death shared a photo of Smith, adding "we ARE going to get change for you and all the others, we will get justice, you changed the world while you were here and in your name a lot more change is still to come."

Her last Facebook post was to share a live stream of the scene at the Uptown protest site, a few hours after she'd posted this, referencing the ongoing protest blocking the intersection by the parking ramp where Smith was killed by undercover law enforcement members.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner will provide an official identification and cause of death.

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