Hwy 212 shooting: Father hires lawyer to look into daughter's death

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The father of a woman shot and killed by police officers on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie a week ago is considering legal action against law enforcement in what he's calling the wrongful death of his daughter.

Dawn Pfister and her boyfriend, Matthew Serbus, were in a red Saab that led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in the west metro before the car crashed into a noise wall.

Confronted by several squad cars and police officers, 36-year-old Serbus emerged from the car wielding a knife. After ignoring repeated commands to drop the weapon, officers shot Serbus, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The agency says Pfister, 34, then grabbed the knife and was also shot.

"She was no threat to all of those officers," Pfister's father, Michael Kennedy, told KSTP. "There's nothing they can do to convince me that she could hurt any of them with a knife when they all stand there with bulletproof vests, guns and cars between them."

Kennedy, who lives in Texas, says he's hired a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit, KSTP reports.

The shooting raises the question: Did law enforcement use a reasonable level of force or was it excessive?

Mylan Masson, who runs a law enforcement training program at Hennepin Technical College, tells KSTP that the officers involved did exactly what they were trained to do.

Masson says in life and death situations, officers follow "Rule 21" – not allowing a suspect with a lethal weapon to come within 21 feet.

"It appeared on the video that this suspect was right up on the front of the car, right where the officer was. That's even less than 21 feet," Masson says.

"[A suspect] can cover this distance much more quickly than you perceive," Joe Dutton, a retired Golden Valley police officer and use of force expert, told FOX 9.

Dutton says studies have proven that when faced with a suspect who is making threats with a knife, an officer won't have the time to get their gun from a hip-holster and shoot if that suspect is within 21 feet.

Four officers involved in the fatal shooting of Pfister and Serbus have been placed on standard administrative leave while the state investigates.

The investigation, which often takes several months when law enforcement is involved, will be turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office to determine if the officers' actions warrant criminal charges.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Minneapolis police

3 Mpls officers injured on night of shootings, stabbings and fights

It was a tense weekend for the city of Minneapolis.

Fruen Mill in Minneapolis.

Teen in serious condition after fall at abandoned Minneapolis mill

Multiple urban explorers have been hurt at the Fruen Mill.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center City Council votes to create department for noncriminal calls

The resolution is named after Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who were both killed by police in Brooklyn Center.

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 7.54.26 AM

Train derails while passing by lake in Albert Lea

The Union Pacific train derailed Saturday afternoon.

Kaprizov, Wild

5 questions for the Wild's playoff series against Vegas

The Wild seem to have the advantage, but can they win their first playoff series since 2015?

police tape, crime scene

Young girl shot in the head in north Minneapolis

The girl was outside when she was struck by the bullet, police said.

prison, Rush City cell block

Former Army Green Beret and U of M student sentenced for Russian espionage

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, was sentenced to 188 months in prison.

Miguel Sano

Miguel SanĂ³'s 8th inning blast ends Twins losing streak

The 5-4 victory over the A's snapped a five-game losing streak.

Thomas Humphrey, charged in vaccine thefts.

Viral videos of vaccine thefts lead to charges for MN anti-vaxxer

Thomas Edward Humphrey is a 32-year-old St. Paul resident.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Related