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Woman Killed in Highway 212 Shooting was Mother of 2

Updated: 02/13/2014 6:33 PM
Created: 02/08/2014 4:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough

Authorities have identified the two victims who were shot to death following a police chase on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie.

Authorities say it was 34-year-old Dawn Marie Pfister and 36-year-old Matthew Vincent Serbus. They were a new couple; a post on Pfister's Facebook page indicates they've been dating for about a month. 

It was a brief but troubled time together. Both Pfister and Serbus were wanted in Olmsted County; KSTP Reporter Beth McDonough's sources confirm warrants were issued for their arrests. They were already on the radar of law enforcement before the chase ever started.

According to Lt. Eric Roeske with the Minnesota State Patrol, the Chaska Police Department, Carver County Sheriff's Office, and Minnesota State Patrol responded to a call about a vehicle with Pfister and Serbus inside, driving erratically and at high speeds on eastbound Highway 212 in Carver County just after 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

The vehicle had reportedly been involved in a rear-end crash at Highway 212 and County Road 43 and fled the scene at a high speed.

Officers found the vehicle on eastbound Highway 212 and a chase ensued. MnDOT traffic cameras showed the suspect's hood was popped up, but the driver kept going.

Roeske said they used stop sticks and pit maneuvers during the chase. Cameras showed an officer used a squad car to send Pfister and Serbus' vehicle into a wall near Dell Road just before 8 a.m.

Someone then got out and fought with police, according to the Associated Press.

Sources tell KSTP's Beth McDonough that officers at the scene felt forced to open fire after seeing one of them holding a cutting instrument, likely a knife. 

Authorities haven't said what exactly happened after that point because the incident is still under investigation.

One trooper, two Chaska police officers, and one Carver County deputy were involved and have been placed on standard administrative leave following the officer-involved shooting, Roeske said.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner report says both Pfister and Serbus died from multiple gunshot wounds.

According to police records, Serbus has a revoked license. He also has nine previous felony convictions, including check forgery, receiving stolen property and third-degree assault. 

Serbus is considered a chronic offender in Minnesota where there have been 36 cases against him, with another 21 in Wisconsin.

Pfister is the mother of two; she has a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. They are currently in Wisconsin grieving with their father.

"This is hard on everybody," Pfister’s ex-husband, Jason Pfister, said. "Until we know for sure what actually happened, all I can ask is that everyone pray for the children to find a way to heal from this, and then everyone can move forward."

View our report: 'What's Next for the Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation' here


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