A Minnesota police officer who shot a man after a high speed chase said that the shooting happened because of “muscle memory” from a recent firearms training exercise. He called the shooting “a mistake.”
Now, video footage from the officer’s dashcam, has been published by local KMSP. It shows Eden Prairie Police Sergeant Lonnie Soppeland following Matthew Hovland-Knase’s motorcycle – going over 110 miles per hour – back on June 20, 2015.
But after pulling Hovland-Knase over, Officer Soppeland begins yelling “get your hands where I can see them.”
There was no indication that the motorcyclist was armed, nor any reason why the officer would assume so.
Without hesitation, the officer fired on the driver.
“Sh*t! F*ck! F*ck!” Soppeland can then be heard saying.
“Please help me!” Hovland-Knase pleads with the trigger-happy officer. The cop then holstering his pistol, and helps the injured man, who he just shot for no reason.
“Oh, sh*t!” the motorcyclist can be heard moaning. “What the f*ck, man?”
“You actually shot me, didn’t you?” Hovland-Knase asks, still in a state of disbelief.
“I’m not going to say anything right now,” Soppeland responds. “But you know, it was not intentional, I can tell you that.”
Court records say that Hovland-Knase was found guilty in court for fleeing the officer.
Officer Soppeland later told detectives that shooting the suspect “was not my conscious choice… I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”
“As I was giving commands, I drew my firearm with my right hand, I planned to steady it with my left hand. When my hands made contact, the firearm discharged once unintentionally,” he maintained.
The detective seemed to feed Officer Soppeland a plausible story. He said that a training exercise 20 days earlier caused the shooting.
“Yes, I feel the muscle memory from that recent training of squeezing the trigger contributed to the unintentional discharge during a high stress situation,” he explained.
The Eden Prairie Police Department said in an interview with local KMSP that after a “full investigation of the incident” Officer Soppeland “was completed by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.”
“Based on the findings of the investigation, no further disciplinary action was taken and Soppleand has returned to regular duties with the Eden Prairie Police Department,” a statement from the department noted.
Watch the local report from KMSP below…
(Article by M. David and Jackson Marciana; image via YouTube)