Videos: Minn. police shoot, kill 2 in hostage standoff after pursuit

When officers realized the suspect was armed with a knife and going to hurt his hostage, they took action

By PoliceOne Staff

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — New video has been released from a fatal 2014 incident of a pursuit turned into a standoff situation that ended in two deaths, FOX 9 reported.

Four officers shot Matthew Serbus on Feb. 7, 2014 after he refused to drop a knife and release his hostage and passenger, Dawn Pfister.

The incident began as a pursuit after a hit-and-run. The car was discovered as stolen and the pursuit ended as Serbus crashed into a wall.

After the crash, no one initially emerged from the vehicle. Eventually, Serbus got out with his hands on Pfister. Officers concluded it was a hostage situation, according to the report.

Officers asked Serbus to show his hands. As the pair moved together, Serbus raised his hand holding a knife and a shot rang out. Officers, worried Serbus was harming Pfister, shot at him.

“Don’t do that to her!” an officer can be heard saying in the video. 

Another officer said, “I gotta drop him guys.”

Eleven officers with seven pistols and four rifles surrounded the pair and fired. Serbus fell to the ground and Pfister took his knife. Chaska Police Department Officer Brady Juell shot and killed Pfister.

Serbus attempted to grab back the knife and stood up. Four officers fired the fatal shots at Serbus.

A grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing but Pfister’s family believes the officer who fatally shot her was in the wrong.

Pfister’s family alleges Juell shot her while she was taking the knife from her hostage-taker to escape. However, Juell contends she was coming at officers with the weapon.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension independently investigated the incident and released a statement to the news site saying they do not have input on the outcome of the cases.

An attorney for Juell told the new site, “Video evidence can be critical to helping investigations, but, as was the case here, since the video does not show what Officer Juell actually saw during this rapidly evolving and very tense situation, the grand jury turned to his testimony and the testimony of the other officers at the scene in choosing not to indict him."


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