‘This Didn’t Have To Happen’, Two Teenagers Die In Maplewood Police Chase

4September 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two Minnesota families are mourning teenagers after a police chase Friday turned deadly.

Six teenage friends in a stolen car crashed in Maplewood after what the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says was a two-mile chase.

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Marcoz Paramo, 14, and Alyjah Thomas, 15, died in the crash.

Tanya Gile, Paramo’s mother, says she wishes she hadn’t woken her son up for school Friday, because then he’d still be here.

“I love you Marcoz, have a good day.’ Those are the last words I’ll ever say to my son,” Gile said.

Gile says Paramo got in the car with friends to go for a “joyride.” The day before, she was at the Minnesota State Fair with Paramo, their family, and Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, a family friend.

“Everybody makes bad choices in life as they’re growing up,” Gile said. “It doesn’t define them as a bad kid or a criminal. They are babies. My son was a baby. I’ll never be able to see or hug my son again.”

Ramsey County says a sheriff’s deputy tried to stop the vehicle, then chased it when the driver wouldn’t pull over. The car crashed near Larpenteur and Chamber.

Police say three of the people in the car ran away. At least two of them were caught. The three others still inside the car included Paramo and Thomas.

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Ken Mogel, a neighbor with medical training, hurried to the scene.

“After [an officer] had somebody at gunpoint, I asked the officer, ‘Can I help?’” Mogel said.

Mogel spoke to Paramo while he was trapped in the car.

“He was kind of freaking out and I was just letting him know, ‘I was there, dude,’ and that’s when the fire department came up,” Mogel said.

Gile wants the Sheriff’s Office’s pursuit policy to be reconsidered for when suspects are minors.

“This didn’t have to happen,” she said. “My heart is ripped out of my chest.”

The Sheriff’s pursuit policy isn’t publicly available, and we didn’t immediately hear back from his office.

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Police say three of the people who were in the stolen car are known to them for being involved in auto thefts.


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