Officer Accidentally Shoots Motorcyclist Blames Muscle Memory


Minnesota – A shocking police dash-cam video shows Sergeant Lonnie Soppeland accidentally shoot a speeding motorcyclist. Sergeant Soppeland stated that muscle-memory from a recent firearm training and stress were what caused his weapon to discharge.

In the video released on the 21st, we see Sergeant Soppeland pulling over Matthew Hovland-Knase after a high-speed pursuit. In the moments following Soppeland can be heard yelling for Hovland-Knase to “get your hands where I can see them,” as he is exiting his vehicle.

Almost immediately, the sound of at least one gunshot is heard.

“Sh*t! F*ck! F*ck!” Sergeant Soppeland curses right away.

“Please help me!” Hovland-Knase begs in agony as the officer approaches, still aiming his weapon and giving commands.

“Oh, sh*t!” the suspect moans. “What the f*ck, man?” “Please, please, I’m bleeding, please help me”

Sergeant Soppeland then finally holsters his gun, calls for an ambulance and begins to administer first-aid.

As Sergeant Soppeland is wrapping Hovland-Knase’s arm he asks “You actually shot me, didn’t you?”

“I’m not going to say anything right now,” “But you know, it was not intentional, I can tell you that” Soppeland replies.

“I know,” Hovland-Knase replies.

Soppeland then says “you shouldn’t of ran.”

Hovland-Knase replies “I wasn’t trying to run.”

Then Soppeland says “that still doesn’t excuse my actions.”

Hovland-Knase replies “man, really, you shot me.”

According to court records, Hovland-Knase was later found guilty of fleeing an officer.

Soppeland told detectives that the shooting “was not my conscious choice…I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”

Soppeland was investigated by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Three days after the shooting, Soppeland told a detective, “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. It was not my conscious choice…I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”

The detective asked whether firearm training 20 days before the shooting, when Soppeland fired 50 to 100 rounds, was a factor.

Soppeland answered, “Yes, I feel the muscle memory from that recent training of squeezing the trigger contributed to the unintentional discharge during a high stress situation.”

The Eden Prairie Police Department told KMSP that Soppeland had returned to duty after a “full investigation of the incident 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.

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