Two volunteers with the mutual aid group Reno Food Not Bombs are in “critical, but stable condition” and one unhoused person, Michelle “Mama Bear,” is dead after a 57 year old man, David Turner, “suddenly and inexplicably drove his car through the area where the women were standing” on Monday. All three were reportedly transported to a local hospital directly following the attack, however Michelle sadly passed away due to her injuries.
We are here to ask for support for our comrades Reno Food Not Bombs, who were victims of a traffic collision that put two organizers in the hospital and likely caused the loss of life for one unsheltered woman. >>
— Truckee Meadows John Brown Gun Club (@TMJBGC) April 4, 2023
According to law enforcement, Turner claimed that the attack was “intentional.” As This Is Reno reported:
David Turner, 57, is facing one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
He drove into a small group of people, who were reportedly helping to feed those in need, near the Nevada Cares Campus, according to Reno police. Two were injured and are in stable condition.
“The male driver made statements to officers that this incident was intentional,” Lt. Anthony Elges said. “The individual victims were both volunteers and those seeking services. The suspect didn’t target either as it relates to why they were in the area…”
Currently, it is unclear as to what motivated Turner to attack Reno Food Not Bombs. In the past, far-Right conspiracy peddlers like Andy Ngo have attacked “ANTIFA” mutual aid programs like Food Not Bombs, and the decentralized network has even been labeled a “terrorist” group by the FBI over the years. In recent years, vehicle attacks by the far-Right have become common place, and in some states, motorists are absolved from charges if they run over demonstrators. In 2017, Tucker Carlson’s website, The Daily Caller, even encouraged its readers to “study the technique” of running over protesters as “may prove useful in the next four years.”
Founded in the 1980s, Food Not Bombs, which publicly shares free communal meals, often to the unhoused, was born out of the anti-nuclear movement as a protest against the US war budget and grew into a large scale mutual aid program, with autonomous chapters springing up across the US and around the world.
Currently there is a GoFundMe campaign set up by Reno Food Not Bombs which states:
Two FNB organizers were severely injured and remain hospitalized, while a third victim, an unsheltered woman, lost her life in the tragic incident. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time.
We are launching a fundraising campaign to support FNB Reno to help cover medical expenses and other costs associated with this senseless act of violence. Your donation will go directly to helping individuals recover and to move forward from this traumatic event.
FNB Reno has been providing essential food resources and support to our local community for years, and it is devastating to see such a heinous act committed against them. Please consider donating to this cause and showing your support for the victims and the incredible work that FNB Reno does. Together, we can make a difference and help bring healing and justice to those affected by this tragedy.
On Tuesday, April 4th, a vigil was held to remember Michelle and stand in solidarity with the two Food Not Bombs volunteers injured in the attack. According to a report by ABC:
Food Not Bombs, a local group that helps feed the homeless, held a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to remember the person killed in a crash on 4th street and to wish a speedy recovery for two others who were hurt.
One person who attended said they were ,”The warmest and most selfless people and I cannot bring myself to understand what happened.”
Locals are encouraging supporters to share and donate to the GoFundMe campaign.