Details emerging about man, woman killed on Highway 212


Investigators are still piecing together details about the officer-involved shooting Friday on Highway 212 in the southwest metro, and many big questions remain unanswered about what led to the deaths of 34-year-old Dawn Marie Pfister and Matthew Vincent Serbus, 36.

Media reports over the weekend shed some light on their relationship and offered bits and pieces about their lives.

Both Pfister and Serbus were wanted on arrest warrants in Olmsted County, the Star Tribune reported.

Pfister was a “free spirit” from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, the newspaper reported.

WCCO notes that Pfister, the mother of two children ages 9 and 12, posted on her Facebook page in January that she and Serbus were in a relationship.

Jason Pfister, Dawn Pfister's ex-husband of 7 1/2 years, told WCCO the family was struggling in the wake of an incident that left so many unanswered questions, but the most difficult part of the ordeal was telling their children their mother had died.

“We talked about it and everybody had a good cry. We discussed things,” Jason Pfister said.

The Star Tribune called Serbus the boyfriend of Pfister. The newspaper noted that he was a one-time St. Paul resident with a criminal record that includes theft, robbery and drugs. Among his arrests was one in 2013, on drug-related charges. A third-degree murder charge against Serbus was dropped in 2006; that was in connection with the drug overdose death of a 20-year-old woman found at a Richfield motel, the Star Tribune reported.

Pfister's mother Jill Walsh told FOX 9 she was not leaping to conclusions.

"I can't put the blame on anybody right now because I don't know what happened," Walsh said. "All I know is that my daughter is dead and somebody killed her."

She said the red Saab involved in the incident Friday was not her daughter's car, and she said her daughter did not own a gun.

"She was the type of person who welcomed everyone with open arms," Walsh told FOX. "She was that kind of a person, she didn't judge people, so I certainly hope people don't judge her because of this incident for being in that car."

KARE 11 talked to Pauly Hoffman, a childhood friend of Serbus, who said they both used drugs and alcohol in high school, and both eventually got sober. But Hoffman told KARE he was worried that Serbus had recently relapsed.

"On Jan. 21, I got a message from his girlfriend Dawn on Facebook. They needed help in Rochester. They asked for my help," Hoffman told KARE. He said Serbus needed money to get out of jail.

Friends note it will be difficult to get to the truth about what happened on the highway because Pfister and Serbus were killed.

The two were in a car that led police on a high-speed chase, hitting speeds up to 80 or 90 miles an hour during rush hour Friday morning. Officers ultimately were able to force the vehicle off the road. Pfister and Serbus emerged from the car as officers surrounded them.

Investigators have not offered details about what happened next. But four officers – one state trooper, two Chaska police officers and one Carver County Sheriff's deputy – were involved in a shooting and have been placed on standard administrative leave. No officers were injured.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation. Police scanner traffic had indicated the incident was a "hostage situation." Investigators have declined to say whether that is accurate.

"Nobody can really answer questions because they're both gone," Amanda Brushwood, a friend of Pfister, told KARE. "It's rough. I couldn't imagine how her kids feel without a mom, knowing they'll never be able to see her again or talk to her."

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