Friend: Woman Shot On I-394 Was ‘Very Harmless’

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A friend and roommate of the woman who was killed by police Thursday on Interstate 394 said the officer involved in the shooting must have overacted.

Katherine Gordon, 58, of California, died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said. A Golden Valley police officer pulled Gordon over on the westbound side of the highway near Hopkins Crossroad and shot her when he saw a gun, police said.

“I see absolutely no reason for her to be shot,” said Charmaine Schodde, Gordon’s friend. “I knew Katherine, and Katherine was not a danger. Katherine would never hurt an officer. She would never hurt anybody.”

Gordon was from Altadena, California. She moved to Minnesota a couple months ago and lived with Schodde.

Schodde said her friend carried a gun for safety and would never threaten anyone with it.

“I find it really hard to believe that Katherine would get out of the car with a gun, waving it an officer,” Schodde said. “But if she did get out with a gun, my thought would be that she was just intending to show an officer that she had a gun with her in her possession. There’s just no way that Katherine would have been threatening an officer.”

The images from shooting are heart-pounding: There are pictures of cops racing to the scene and images of Gordon dead next to her driver’s-side door. Those images broke Schodde’s heart. She said Gordon had children, and she didn’t drink or do drugs.

“She was a very harmless, reserved, calm person,” Schodde said. “There was nothing alarming about her at all.”

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting. Golden Valley Police aren’t releasing the name of the officer involved in Katherine’s death. The officer that shot Katherine is on administrative leave, and that is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting investigation.

“What I think that needs to happen is the truth needs to come out,” Schodde said.

  • Chuck

    OK, Lady – I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, but: 1) You weren’t there. You have no idea of what really happened, and if you had an ounce of common sense you would know that “showing the gun to the officer ” is an asinine statement.
    2) Your friend apparently went to the Edina Police station and said that she was afraid that she was going to hurt somebody. Harmless?!?!

    It’s amazing how everyone shot by the police were “harmless”, “well intentioned”, “a good family man”, “just getting their life back together”, etc. Hell, if this were true, why do we need cops in the first place?

    • CJ

      You seriously have no clue! If you weren’t there, don’t comment on a situation you know nothing about. Why so long? How about to get the correct information out there before clowns like you over react. Ooops, didn’t help in your case anyway. How about a “Thank You!” to the officer for keeping you safe day after day, and begin willing to put his life on line for YOU without even knowing, or caring, what an ignorant person you are?


      • wow

        based on your rantings on this website you Would be the one to get out brandishing your weapon. you have no self control. and one big mouth that will eventually get you in trouble

        • wow

          and one more note their Mr. Awesome CJ do you realize what an idiot you look like to everyone and those who actually know what happened :) lol it’s so funny!!!

      • CJ

        How about Thanks for keeping us safe from her. I mean, if she points a gun at an officer, I’m sure she would have no issues pointing one at you or your family.

        I’m not saying they are always right. They are human, they make mistakes.

        How good of a shot I am? Yeah, that is on topic.

    • CJ

      HA! I think he is using his access time at the local lock up.

    • Paul Solinger

      I”m sorry, but what person in there right mind would step out of a car and walk towards an officer carrying a gun? I’m willing to bet the cop also told her to drop the weapon before he pulled his gun, and she didn’t. She might have meant no harm, but the fact remains she acted in a way that cost her her life. My guess is she wanted to get shot.

  • Jean

    According to the Star & Tribune the officers name was Rob Zarret.

    • Chuck

      Yes, and the Star Tribune article was far more objective and had a lot more information…

      • Beenthar

        The Strib could not properly report on a one care parade.

      • Pete

        Well Put Chuck… Thank You

  • Friend: Woman Shot And Killed By Police Was ‘Harmless’ « CBS Minnesota

    […] [WCCO: News] Share this No comments // […]

  • Mike Jacobson

    Did she have a permit to carry a handgun in the State of Minnesota? I am going with NO! Why was she driving at 90mph in a 55mph zone? Hey Charmaine…your friend is, or rather WAS, a criminal who paid for her crimes the hard way. A good friend would have helped search for some professional help. Shut your yapper and quit trying to ruin this officers career. He was protecting his community from gun toting criminals.

    • Molly

      Where was is reported by the police she was going 90 mph? I heard eye witnesses who described squad cars racing to the scene at that speed, but not the driver.

      • CJ

        Ummm…yeah. Usually if someone has a gun the officers try to get there quickly.

        “Hey Bob, it’s just a gun. Let’s finish our dinner, stop and talk to oa few people and THEN well take a walk over to see what this talk of a GUN is all about.”

        • Mike

          Do you own a crystal ball CJ or are you privy to information the public is not?
          Where was it reported that she brandished a gun prior to the pull over?
          Where was it reported that she was speeding at 90mph?

          • CJ

            Try the star tribune. This may be a shock, but there is more than one source for news.

            Your right. I am sure the police just happen to guess randomly about this woman carrying a gun in her vehicle.

    • Elizabeth Hudson

      Shut up Mike and have some class. You don’t know what you are talking about. Whatever happened, happened. People are grieving. She made a mistake, she is not a harden criminal of any type. Amen.

      • Judge Wapner

        This was clearly a police assisted suicide.

    • cowgirl

      Mike, What makes you think she didn’t have a permit to carry??? A lot of women have them. I have one and I use it. If I got pulled over, I would in no way grab for my gun or try to show it to the police. If they ask if I have a gun, I would tell them yes, tell them where it is and let them get it. But since I am legal with it, they have no cause or business taking it from me.

  • Jack

    It was a squirt gun, then I think it should be looked into a little deeper.

  • Chuck

    OK, mister law enforcement expert – sorry that I offended you. What would you do if someone pointed a gun at you?

    • CJ

      Umm…really? Is this even a question.

      Well, first I would Google them to make sure that they were a “bad” person.
      – contact at lease three references
      – contact his mother, since his father is in prison, and see if he was a good boy
      – check his handgun registration (provided by him of course willingly)
      – call in a counselor to offer their services
      – offer him a hug

      Then, and only then, would I use my expert marksmanship to shoot the gun out of his hand and then offer him a ride to the local watering hole to talk about his problems. (((((((HUG))))))

  • Maggie Gray

    I think none of us know what transpired that day. The officer obviously had good reason to pull her over, and I, who is a gun owner, would NEVER EVER grab my gun, show my gun, point my gun, hold up my gun if approached by an officer. I would calmly GET OUT of the vehicle, stand away from the vehicle and inform the officer that there was a firearm in the car. If she didn’t have a permit to carry, and it was loaded, that’s a whole new take on the scene. Bottom line, let’s see what the investigation reveals. If you don’t have a permit to carry, you are required to store the gun, UNLOADED, in a case, in your vehicle. If that gun was loaded, and the officer felt threatened, he reacted not knowing her intent. A woman driving around with a loaded gun? Permit? No permit? Calm woman? Then why brandish the gun? Before we judge, let’s find out if she was unjustly killed OR if the officer acted out of defense. We weren’t there. Don’t speculate, but remember it takes balls to strap on a firearm and get in that squad car NEVER EVER knowing what nuts are out there. This is a tragedy and I applaud our officers who EVERY single day face death. Not us…..them. Sad day for the woman’s family and loved ones and extremely tragic for the officer and the department.

    • Mike

      The officer felt threatened and than proceeded to discharge a gun while other motorists were in the area? Where is pragmatism when you need it most? It’s one thing if she pointed the gun at the officer which to date is inconclusive since their were no eye witnesses to that fact! Their is something very wrong with the details of this story not being released and the search for eye witnesses is an indication that the police do not have enough of the holes filled in their story to justify murdering a motorist! The officer who discharged his gun also has a history of over reacting in his duties and has cost the city a lot of money in judgements against his indiscretion’s.

      • CJ

        The other “eye witnesses” probably hauled butt the other direction.

        I think Mike may have taken a ride, or a dozen, in the back of a patrol car. But, I’m sure there were no witnesses to his “crimes” either. He was just minding his own business I am sure. HA!

        Some peoples idea of what police officers do amazes me. Simply say thank you, and sit back down.

  • Sherry Donais Wilson

    Very well put Maggy Gray.

  • Jack

    Yeah…totally agree w/Maggy Gray on all points. This woman should have had enough sense to do nothing but freeze until told to move, How the hell is the officer suppoed to know what her intentions are? He did what he was trained to do, period. I doubt if the teach recruits to take the time to analyze and ask questions when confronted with a firearm. It’s empty the magazine time as far as I’m concerned.

  • Barney

    What’s the normal advice regarding firearms? Is it “Never pull your gun unless you intend to kill someone with it.” So what’s a police officer supposed to do when a person pulls a gun on him? If someone is going to be blamed for not thinking straight in this situation, guess who that would be. Let that be a lesson for the rest of us.

  • Billie

    It’s interesting to note that this cop, Rob Zarret, tasered a passenger in a pull-over because she wouldn’t get off her cell phone. Golden Valley PD had to pay out 250K for that. Tasers can and have killed people. You don’t get off your cellphone when a cop tells you, you’re a moron and may have to be physically dragged from the car. But tasered? I question his judgment.

    • Guy

      By what right does a cop have to tell a PASSENGER to do much of anything that is NOT (cop) safety related. Talking on a cell is NOT a threat to the cop (if anything it is a distraction to the talker & thus INCREASES the cop’s safety).

      It is the DRIVER that has to produce id & proof of insurance – NOT the passenger.

      We are not (yet) to the Nazi Germany “paperz pleeze” phase.

  • Old man

    The bad part of this is that no one will ever really know the truth. With the fox guarding the henhouse (police investigatigating their own) the truth will always come out in favor of the officer. Have you ever seen one that hasn’t.

  • Andy King

    Most cop cars do have video taping, I would hope we will get to see it down
    the road here, If he is a short fuze cop we need to lock him up for good !

  • Hmmmm

    There is a squad car video of the incident. Whether or not the public will ever see it is another story.

  • candice farshtey

    Katherine Gordon, or “Nana Kate” as my daughter would call her was my ex-mother -in-law. I wish people would stop saying hurtful things. Katherine wasn’t perfect in life BUT was a great grandma to my daughter. She had issues that are no one’s concern. Its a sad situation that we are all trying to deal with. It was a shock to us all. She will be missed by me as well as my daughter. Some comments posted are more hurtful and shocking then what we watched on the tv. We will never fully know why she did what she did. I haven’t slept well since this took place but I like to believe she’s where she’s meant to be and that she’s ok now. Katherine was a mother, grandma and will be missed.

    • Michelle

      I am very sorry for your family’s loss…and that it has not been a larger focus of conversations going on here. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Elizabeth Troester

    With the abundance of judgements and harsh criticisms found among comments posted on this site and others, with every opportunity, I hope I NEVER have a reason to be featured in any article published in the online news. Because people are so cruel, with comments ranging from insulting the physical appearance of others to blaming victims to self righteously making generalizations. I don’t know which is more scarey….the streets or these comment sections!

    • Willow

      I certainly agree with you. It seems that some people have nothing better to do than troll web sites and flame others. Comment sections in TV network/newspaper sites are poorly moderated. I wish they would just take out the comment sections entirely. If people want to discuss the news and flame bait others, there are plenty of online forums where they can do so.

  • Brent

    As a fellow police officer, I have no doubt in my mind that this officer acted appropriately. I don’t know the officer involved, but anyone who wants to include an incident that occurred 6 years ago into the reasoning behind this officers decision to use deadly force is being completely ridiculous. Furthermore, this “friend” and roommate Charmaine needs a serious reality check. Two weeks ago this person, as said before walked into Edina PD and said she wanted to harm people, not to mention that she had a history of mental issues in California. The facts in this incident are there you have an individual driving 90 mph on the highway, was slow to stop and then gets out of the car waving a gun. Now, put yourself in that position and think to yourself, what would you do? I’m sorry, but there isn’t enough time to analyze the situation from every angle and try and figure out what this persons mental short comings are today. Training takes over and you simply have to react to what you have presented to you. In this case you have a car traveling at a high rate of speed and you attempt to stop said car and out pops someone with a gun. Did this person just murder someone? Did they just rob a bank? There isn’t time to stop and think about every possible outcome. There is only time to react to what is going on now. I feel horrible for the woman that was shot and her family. This is a terrible time for them and I feel just as bad for the officer. Everyday that we strap on our belts, climb into our cars and go to work knowing that this might be the day that we have to take a life, but there isn’t a darn thing in the world that can prepare you for the time when the situation presents itself that a life has to be taken. I would encourage everyone to stop rushing to place blame on the officer. The truth will come out and just because its “cops investigating cops” doesn’t mean a damn thing. The truth will come out and all the crackpot conspiracy theorists will be silenced.

    • Mike

      Brent, Maybe you would like to comment on this story and justify how your fellow officer killed this unarmed man.

      PS. Lets not forget, police are people and do often make mistakes.

      • U of M LS

        Even if someone feigns that they have a weapon you can still shoot them. Read the case law.

      • CJ

        I agree, they do make mistakes. But, they get paid to do a job that most would never want. They get paid for what they MAY have to do (take a life). Could you say that you would make the correct choice if you were faced with that situation?

      • Suicide by cop

        So what. Haven’t you heard suicide by cop is all the rage these days? If they get a call that a guy is armed and suicidal and he makes a sudden move when confronted by the cop, like reaching behind his back, he’s possibly, maybe even likley trying to get the response from the cop that he got. I think the bigger shame is not that the guy who was suicidal succeeded, but that he drew another human being into his sick plan who will have to deal with this difficult incident for a long time, when he may have had no choice. It’s too bad that people are so badly in pain that they take their own lives, but why drag an innocent police officer into it?

  • Not Judging Up North

    Suicide by cop?

    She admitted she wanted to harm people, obviously didn’t get the help she needed there, or enough help. Decided to take a fast spin on the Interstate and see if she got attention that way.She did, I’m sorry and so is her family and the policeman that did it.

    • Kent

      Yes, suicide by cop.
      Either that or she was incredibly stupid.
      Sorry for her loss however.

  • zee the reporter

    another murder by a cop!

    • rasputin

      zee the unemployed loser

  • mitch

    well, cj is obviously a cop and should have been honest on his phsych evals!!!! fact, there are no witnesses to date so none of us knows what happened!!! the officers are gonna support there fellow officers and those that have had negative run ins with the police are gonna think the officer acted inappropriatly. i have many friends who are officers and risk there life every day they go to work for our safety. on the other hand, some of them are not good people and are in the field for all the wrong reasons!!! i do not know which this officer is so i can not judge. fact is that none of you can judge correctly because none of you were there, but go ahead and be cruel to each other and defend your sides to the nithe. it’s atleast entertaining!!!!.

    • CJ

      Honest on a phsych…about what? Dislike for morons?

      Also, you are incorrect. Not a police officer. Just someone who has a great respect for what they do. Sure there are some bad apples, but can’t judge them all by the bad ones.

  • JJHT

    It is terrible someone lost their life but harmless? I don’t believe someone driviing over 90 miles an hour harmless. I don’t call someone getting out of a car and pointing a gun harmelss. This woman may have had emotional and mental issues but her actions were not harmless and she could have easily hurt many innocent people. It is a tragedy that her “friends and family” could not see what was going to happen.

  • Jason Johnson

    Just another case of an idiot reporter. Schugel needs to get a job at McDonald’s, something he is qualified to do.

  • Shelly Michels

    Hopefully the internal investigation will reveal the real truth.

  • Willow

    Is it possible an undiagnosed mental illness was involved? I have a feeling we’re not getting the full story from the media here. I certainly can’t see any rational reason for pointing a gun at an officer.

  • Jay

    I don’t think that seeing a gun justifies killing this woman. Perhaps if she was pointing it at the officer she got what she deserved, but the article really doesn’t say that.

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