Officer Cleared In I-394 Fatal Traffic Stop Shooting
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Hennepin County grand jury cleared a Golden Valley police officer in the shooting and killing a woman on Interstate 394 during a traffic stop last year, city officials said.
A jury convened by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office cleared Officer Robert Zarrett Thursday in the fatal shooting of Katherine Gordon, which happened in Minnetonka on Sept. 22, 2011.
On that day, Zarrett tried to pull over Gordon, who was driving at speeds of over 90 mph, near Louisiana Avenue. Zarrett pursued Gordon with lights flashing after she failed to stop.
Authorities said Gordon wove in and out of traffic, keeping a high speed. When she eventually did pull her car over near Hopkins Crossroad, she got out and pointed a handgun at Zarrett.
Zarrett then shot Gordon several times, fatally wounding her.
Golden Valley Police Chief Stacy Carlson said the incident shows the dangers police officers face every day.
“In this case, what started out as a possible speeding violation actually turned into a suspect threatening deadly force upon a police officer,” she said.
Carlson described the shooting as a tragic event for Zarrett, Gordon and her family.
During the shooting, no one else was hurt.
A brief report showed that Gordon went to Edina police months before the shooting, saying she needed to be locked up because she was suicidal, and was a threat to herself and others.
The report said she told police the spirit of Satan was inside of her and that she needed to be locked up.The report said Edina police took Gordon to Fairview Southdale Hospital.
Golden Valley officials said Zarrett has been with the Golden Valley Police Department since 1998 and that he has 17 letters of commendation in his file.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting.