Updated: 02/13/2014 6:31 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough
Authorities are identifying the four police officers involved in a fatal shooting on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie last week. Agents with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state's top law enforcement agency, interviewed the officers Wednesday, who said the couple had a knife.
They have been identified as: Sergeant Brady Juell, who has been with the Chaska Police Department for 17 years; Officer Trent Wurtz, who is a 14-year veteran of the Chaska Police Department; Trooper Mark Lund, who has been with the Minnesota State Patrol for 14 years; and Corporal Nathan Mueller, who is a nine-year veteran of the Carver County Sheriff’s Department.
The officers were initially talked to immediately after the deadly incident Friday. Then they were put on administrative leave, which is standard in these cases. They took several days off before being called into the BCA to share more information. They discussed how the initial call come across the radio, what they saw, if they felt threatened, and if the couple had a weapon.
Thirty-four-year-old Dawn Pfister and 36-year old Matthew Serbus, both from Elkhorn, Wis., died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Pfister's stepfather, Frank Walsh, told KSTP he was eager for answers from Wednesday's round of questioning.
"For the life of me, I don't understand why they had to go to that extreme," he said. "Why can't investigators come out and say if they had a weapon or didn't have a weapon? What was the just cause of this?"
Because Highway 212 near Dell Road was closed down where the incident happened last Friday, there are only a few witnesses, mainly the officers involved.
Agents are reviewing footage from Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic cameras and video from squad cars to help fill in the blanks: how many bullets were fired, from whose gun and why.
Pfister’s family scheduled a memorial service for Feb. 22 in Illinois.
KSTP reached out to Matthew Serbus' family in Hanover and has not heard back.
According to the a preliminary investigation, the officers responded to reports of a vehicle driving erratically and speeding near Highway 212 and County Road 51 in Carver County just after 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 7. The same vehicle was also reportedly involved in a rear-end crash on Highway 212 and County Road 43 and took off from the scene.
Officers found the red Saab heading eastbound on Highway 212 and started to chase the vehicle, reaching speeds of more than 90 miles an hour.
Officers discovered the vehicle was reported stolen in Colorado, and the license plate on the vehicle had been reported stolen from a separate vehicle in Colorado.
The Saab crashed just before 8 a.m. on Highway 212 near Dell Road in Eden Prairie. The driver and passenger got out of the vehicle.
According to the preliminary investigation and officer statements, Serbus showed a knife and ignored repeated commands from officers to drop the weapon. According to the officers, they fired at Serbus and that’s when Pfister took the knife. Officers say they then shot her. Both Serbus and Pfister were fatally injured.
BCA personnel recovered a knife at the scene. The BCA is conducting laboratory tests and analysis of the evidence.
The case remains under investigation by the BCA.