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Elkhorn woman killed in officer-involved shooting

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Gazette staff
February 9, 2014

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota —An Elkhorn woman is dead and her family is searching for answers after she was shot to death by police officers Friday on a highway near Eden Prairie, Minn.

Dawn Marie Pfister, 34, and her boyfriend Matthew Vincent Serbus, 36, were killed Friday on Highway 212, according to an Associated Press report. Both died of multiple gunshot wounds after leading police on a chase that reached speeds of up to 90 mph during the morning rush hour.

Family members of Pfister say she was a mother of two, while court records show the man she was with had a lengthy police record, according to The Associated Press.

Few details have been released about the shooting or what prompted authorities to fire their weapons.

Bridget Johnson, Pfister's stepmother, said her children are 12 and 9. Johnson described Pfister as a "free spirit and an old soul," who loved music, dancing and her family," Associated Press reported.

Police records show Pfister was arrested in 2013 on drug-related charges in Walworth County. Arrest warrants in Olmsted County, Minn. were pending for both Pfister and Serbus. Officials would not say when or why the warrants were issued.

Serbus, who once lived in St. Paul, Minn., had a lengthy criminal record including theft, burglary and drug-related cases. In 2006, a third-degree murder charge against Serbus was dropped in connection with the death of a 29-year-old woman who died of an overdose after Serbus and the woman had bought and used heroin and crack cocaine, said The Associated Press.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that just after 7:30 a.m. Friday officers of the Chaska Police Department , Carver County sheriff's deputies and Minnesota State Patrol troopers responded to reports of a vehicle driving erratically and at high speeds near Highway 212 and County Road 51 in Carver County.

The same vehicle was reported to have fled the scene of a rear-end crash on Highway 212 and County Road 43, said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Responding officers located an eastbound red Saab on Highway 212 and a pursuit ensued which reached speeds of 80-90 miles an hour, said officials.

Just before 8 a.m. the vehicle crashed along the wall on Highway 212 near Dell Road in Eden Prairie. The driver and the passenger emerged from the vehicle. The circumstances of the shooting that followed remain under investigation at this hour, said Jill Oliveira, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“We are continuing the investigation into this incident,” Oliveira said. “It's still in the very early stages. We are conducting interviews with the officers involved and witnesses.”

One Minnesota State Patrol trooper, two officers from the Chaska Police Department and one Carver County sheriff's deputy have been placed on administrative leave because of the incident, Oliveira said.



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