Officers involved in fatal Highway 212 identified - New York News

HWY 212 SHOOTING: 4 cops shot, killed 2 people after seeing knife

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(L) Matthew Serbus; (R) Dawn Pfister (L) Matthew Serbus; (R) Dawn Pfister
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) -

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension named all four officers involved in a fatal shooting that took place on Highway 212 on Feb. 7 and left a man and a woman dead.

The officers involved come from three separate agencies, and hey are:

- Sgt. Brady Juell, a 17-year veteran of the Chaska Police Department
- Officer Trent Wurtz, a 14-year veteran of the Chaska Police Department
- Trooper Mark Lund, a 14-year veteran of the Minnesota State Patrol
- Cpl. Nathan Mueller, a 9-year veteran of the Carver County Sheriff's Office

All four remain on paid administrative leave while the investigation into the shooting continues.

POLICE FIRED ALL SHOTS AFTER SEEING KNIFE

According to a press release that unveils some of the first details to be released about the shooting that followed a high-speed chase, police shot both 36-year-old Matthew Serbus and 34-year-old Dawn Pfister.

At about 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 7, officers responded to reports of a vehicle driving erratically at high speeds near Highway 212 and County Road 51 in Carver County after fleeing a reported rear-end crash on Highway 212 near County Road 43.

Police located the red Saab as it was heading east and began a pursuit that reached speeds exceeding 90 mph before ending in a crash near Dell Road in Eden Prairie.

The BCA's preliminary investigation indicates both Serbus and Pfister emerged from the crashed vehicle, and Serbus then produced a knife. Officers say he ignored repeated commands to drop the weapon before officers opened fire.

Investigators say Pfister then took possession of the knife, and police shot her too. Both were fatally injured at the scene.

BCA personnel recovered the knife from the scene and is currently conducting laboratory tests as they continue to analyze the evidence. Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be presented to the Hennepin County attorney for consideration of charges.

CAR INVOLVED REPORTED STOLEN IN COLORADO

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also released additional information about the vehicle, saying it was reported stolen in Colorado days before the shooting.

Additionally, the license plate on the car had been reported stolen from a separate vehicle in Colorado.

Prior to the chase, both Serbus and Pfister were arrested in Olmsted County following an attempted car theft in Rochester, Minn.

MORE: Dealership owner recalls botched theft attempt

Arrest warrants were issued after Serbus and Pfister failed to appear in court to face charges.

MOTHER DEMANDS MORE INFORMATION

From her home in Illinois, Dawn Pfister's mother told Fox 9 News that she is demanding more answers while the details from the police account sink in.

"It's so unbelievable," Jill Walsh said. "I just can't understand it at all. My daughter was not that kind of a person. She did not deserve to die."

Walsh said she has watched the video of the shooting over and over, trying to figure out what would have led police to pull the trigger on her daughter and her new boyfriend.

As Walsh prepares to bring her daughter's body home for burial, she is also thinking about her two young grandchildren and how their lives will change without their mother. A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the two, and donations to the Dawn Pfister Memorial Fund can be made at any TCF Bank.  

When the chase was in progress, police discussed it as a potential hostage situation over the radio. Investigators still are not clarifying anything regarding that possibility and have not offered any explanation for the struggle seen outside the car.

From the law enforcement perspective, few are willing to talk about the case until the investigation is complete; however, a former officer who spoke with Fox 9 News said when it comes to someone holding a knife, police usually hold to what they refer to as a 21-foot rule.

In essence, officers are trained that if a suspect is holding a knife within 21 feet of an officer, they are a threat. At this time, there is still no word about the distance between the officers and the couple as the investigation into whether the shooting was justified continues.

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