Cheerleader, 18, Was Killed Weeks Before Her Graduation. Now a State Trooper Is Charged in Her Homicide

Trooper Shane Roper has been charged with manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the May killing of Olivia Flores, per authorities

<p>GoFundMe</p> Olivia Flores


Olivia Flores

A Minnesota law enforcement official has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the May killing of a high school cheerleader who was out celebrating her friend’s birthday.

Olivia Flores, 18, died in a “fatal crash” in Rochester, Minn., on May 18 where her friends were also injured, Rochester police said in a Facebook post shared on May 20.

Trooper Shane Roper of the Minnesota State Patrol, who was involved in the crash, has now been charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in connection with her death, the Olmsted County Attorney’s office said in a statement on Tuesday, July 9.

Roper crashed into a Ford Focus outside a mall after trying to pursue a “traffic violator” in the area and, at one point, “turned off his emergency lights and sirens and accelerated to full throttle," more than twice the posted speed limit, Olmsted County officials said in their Tuesday’s statement.

“Trooper Roper’s vehicle violently impacted the Focus,” the investigation revealed, per the statement.

<p>Gofundme</p> Olivia Flores


Olivia Flores

The crash also injured Flores’ friends – 21-year-old Angelina Bartz and 19-year-old Katarina Bartz, according to Rochester police. Roper’s ride-along passenger as well as two passengers in a third car involved in the crash were also injured.

Flores and her friends were on a “fun outing for Katarina’s birthday” when the crash happened, according to a GoFundMe set up for the Bartz sisters.

Flores was set to graduate in the coming days, loved ones said in a separate GoFundMe set up for her family.

“Instead of planning Olivia’s graduation party and celebrating her next chapter in life, Steph and Carlos are left picking up the pieces of this tragedy,” read part of the fundraiser for the family.

Related: Cheerleader Who Was Weeks from Graduation Dead After 'Tragic' Crash Involving Cop Car: 'Special Young Lady'

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In the same GoFundMe, Flores is remembered as a “special young lady” who was fierce and loyal.

“To know her is to be inspired by her,” read a part of the tribute on the GoFundMe page, adding, “She was beautiful down to her soul.”

Flores was a cheerleader for the Owatonna High School Huskies, according to the team's Facebook group.

"She touched many lives and our lives will forever be changed from her brightening them," the team said in a brief tribute shared on Facebook following her death.

Evident by another Facebook post, the team has since rallied to support fundraising events "to help her family out and keep her name alive."

It isn't immediately clear if Roper has entered pleas or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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