MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) – Friends gathered for a candlelight vigil at the Maple Grove Arboretum Saturday night to remember the two people killed after a high-speed chase on Highway 212 last week.
Police shot and killed 36-year-old Matthew Serbus of Brooklyn Center and 34-year-old Dawn Pfister of Delavan, Wis. Their deaths followed a chase with police though Eden Prairie on Highway 212 on Feb. 7.
“It’s just really shocking,” said Serbus’ friend Sarah Higgins. “You never think that’s going to happen to someone you know.”
Police say they shot Serbus after he crashed his stolen red Saab and refused to drop a knife on the highway.
They then shot Dawn Pfister after they say she picked up the knife. The two were suspects in an earlier auto-theft case from Rochester.
Pauly Hoffman says Serbus struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. He had been sober, but friends and family were worried that he had relapsed in recent months.
“What really shocked and surprised me is how it all went down. Matt was not violent,” Hoffman said. “He loved people, he cared about people. He wouldn’t put himself in a position where he’s going to hurt other people.”
Serbus’ childhood hockey coach, Jim Hoffman, says the his violent end did not reflect his true character.
“It’s unfortunate he took the turn that he did with his, but Matt Serbus himself was really a good kid,” Hoffman said.
Serbus’ friends are placing a brick near the Angel of Hope Memorial at the arboretum for Serbus and Pfister, where they hope to remember only the good.
“He was friends with everybody so it was like everybody wanted to be around him,” Hoffman said. “Coming here in a park in the outdoors is the best way we can remember him.”