By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The parents of a Twin Cities teacher who was shot and killed by a police officer are speaking out for the first time.

A Mankato police officer shot 33-year-old Chase Tuseth at the Country Inn and Suites early Saturday morning.

Hotel employees had called 911 to report that he was throwing things and being disorderly.

Officer Gary Schnorenberg arrived and tried to arrest Tuseth, but shot him after witnesses say he started hitting and kicking the officer.

“His trajectory was just really, really awesome right now, so this is just heart-breaking,” said Mickie Tuseth, Chase Tuseth’s mother.

Chase Tuseth (credit: CBS)

Chase Tuseth (credit: CBS)

Mickie and Tuseth’s father, Tony, say their son was on the right path as an educator. He was working as a biology teacher at Tokata Learning Center in Shakopee.

“He really had an empathy that these kids are coming from tough places and they aren’t going to cut it in a regular classroom, and he needs to meet their needs in a totally different way,” Tony Tuseth said.

Tuseth’s family says he was a world traveler, having lived in Japan and South Korea, working as a teacher in the latter. He was in Cuba in December and surprised his parents by coming home for the holidays.

“Fortunately, he came back to surprise us for Christmas, so we got to have him with us for Christmas, which was wonderful,” Mickie Tuseth said.

But Tuseth’s life came to a sudden end one week later on New Year’s Eve morning,

Police say Officer Schnorenberg used an electroshock weapon on Tuseth, and then shot him after witnesses say he began attacking the officer.

“I feel like that’s not my son. I don’t know exactly all what happened, but nowhere in my realm of my imagination can I identify with that person,” Mickie Tuseth said.

Tuseth’s father says he is totally perplexed by the violent end to his son’s life.

“We’ve not been angry or mad at the police or, you know, deputies or anybody. We’re just trying to grasp what happened,” Tony Tuseth said.

Officer Schnorenberg has been with Mankato Police for 30 years. He was treated for minor injuries and has been put on standard administrative leave.

Tuseth’s family says his funeral will be held Saturday.

John Lauritsen