Motorcyclist “Accidentally” Shot By Police And Their Excuse Will Make You Enraged


Police Officer Shoots Then Arrests Fleeing from the police has serious penalties in Minnesota as one man found out when he was shot by a police officer whilst standing next to his motorbike. This is no ordinary shooting however.

Matthew Hovland-Knase was riding his motorbike, speeding through the streets of Eden Prairie late one night in June. It didn’t take long for the police to be alerted to the situation, and try as they might they could not get the speedster to stop. Hovland-Knase diverted past the traffic stop set up by police and carried on joyriding through the town.

The police and Hovland-Knase  engaged in this high speed chase, with the joyrider pushing his motorbike over 100 mph to avoid capture. The police eventually pulled the biker over, but things then got a little out of hand. The arresting officer, Police Sergeant Lonnie Soppeland, shouted

“Get your hands where I can see them”

Before Hovland-Knase had time to put his hands anywhere, Sergeant Soppeland opened fire, shooting his suspect in the left arm. If you’re thinking that shooting the suspect is an extreme form of punishment for speeding, you’d be right. Sergeant Soppeland, whilst administering first aid to his wounded prey, claimed that he hadn’t meant to shoot Hovland-Knase. In fact, when questioned later on by detectives, Soppeland claimed that

“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’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that Soppeland unintentionally discharged his weapon and the shooting was accidental. At the prompting of detectives, Soppeland came up with an interesting explanation as to how exactly he may have discharged his weapon:

“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 phrase practice makes perfect comes to mind here. Soppeland was so well practiced at pulling the trigger of his gun, thanks to all that pesky training he was required to do as a police officer, that his hands instead of his brain were in control of his weapon during the shooting. You could say his hands called the shots, though it would be difficult to excuse the pun. With the investigation into the incident complete, Soppeland went back to work. The Eden Prairie Police Department issued a statement:

“Based on the findings of the investigation, no further disciplinary action was taken and Soppeland has returned to regular duties with the Eden Prairie Police Department”

Hovland-Knase was said to have smelled strongly of alcohol and agreed to a blood test. If convicted he could spend 3 years and a day behind bars with a $5000 fine and a sore arm. The shooting will no doubt serve as an example to others planning on speeding through Eden Prairie in the near future.