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Cop Accidentally Shoots Rider After Pulling Over

A nighttime ride turned bad for 21-year-old motorcyclist Matthew Hovland-Knase after he was accidentally shot by a police officer. Eden Prairie Police Sgt. Lonnie Soppeland pursued Hovland-Knase, who failed to stop and kept on riding his bike, but with no obvious attempt of fleeing the police cruiser.
Eden Prairie Police Sgt. Lonnie Soppeland pointing a gun at Matthew Hovland-Knase 1 photo
Photo: YouTube capture
After a brief pursuit that yielded no dangerous overtakes or other events usually associated with such deeds, Hovland-Knase pulled over and took his bike on the gravel shoulder of the road, again, with no signs of trying to escape the officer and without any violent intentions.

As Soppeland gets out of the car and shouts the usual "Get your hands where I can see them," he also fires two shots at the motorcyclist, with one of the round hitting Hovland-Knase in the arm. Soppeland can be clearly heard uttering some four-letter words, a good indication that this wasn't exactly the course of action.

Muscle memory from shooting training 20 days before indicated as the cause of the shooting

Soppeland holsters the gun and helps Hovland-Knase off his bike, adding that his shooting was unintentional. After helping the rider sit down, the cop brings a first aid kit.

The two exchange some lines until other two police officers arrive at the scene, with Soppeland admitting that he shot Hovland-Knase, but unintentionally.

The date when the shooting occurred was not mentioned, but we know that after the incident, an inquiry was initiated. Soppeland was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, and defended himself claiming that the shooting was not his conscious choice but the result of "muscle memory from recent training of squeezing the trigger [that, red.] contributed to the unintentional discharge during a high-stress situation."

No disciplinary actions were taken against him. With 11 years of experience in the force, he returned to active service. On the other hand, Hovland-Knase was charged with fleeing the cops and got five days of community service and 15 days house arrest.

Now, we're frankly thankful that Soppeland's aim was poor enough to miss Hovland-Knase’s chest, heart, head or other critical areas of the body.

And we'll just leave it to you to judge if getting out of the car with an unholstered gun and a finger on the trigger is the most appropriate course of action for such situations when no sign of aggressive intent was shown from the - yes, you're right - fleeing rider.

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