“Get Your Hands Where I….” BOOM! Cop Shoots Unarmed Man on “Accident”

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Top Tier Gear USA


By Matt Agorist

Eden Prairie, MN — On June 15, 2015, Matthew Hovland-Knase was allegedly driving his motorcycle at excessive speeds down a two-way street. After being clocked at speeds over 110 miles per hour, Sergeant Lonnie Soppeland gave chase and pulled him over.

Hovland-Knase did not attempt to run, was unarmed, non-violent, and posed no threat to Soppeland at all when the officer jumped out of his cruiser with his gun drawn. As Soppeland exited the cruiser, he yelled, “Get your hands where I….” BOOM — and before he could finish the sentence, he’d shot the unarmed motorcyclist.

“I’m bleeding,” screams Hovland-Knase after this overzealous cop squeezed off a round into the unsuspecting motorist.

Those who’ve been trained to use firearms know that you should keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire. If anyone should know this, it’s a police officer. But at that moment, on that night, officer Soppeland forget one of the most important rules in handling a firearm.

Immediately after he nearly killed a man, officer Soppeland said, “I’m not going to say anything right now, but was not intentional. I can tell you that.”

Intentional or not, this man fired a deadly projectile at an unarmed individual who meant him no harm.

After Soppeland had been granted a cool down period of three days, he was finally interviewed by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. During the interview, Soppeland told a detective, “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 was not my conscious choice…I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”

Notice how he blamed the firearm. According to Soppeland, he did not discharge the firearm, ‘the firearm discharged.’

In a loaded question, which was obviously used to steer the investigation in favor of the officer, the detective then asked Soppeland whether firearm training 20 days before the shooting, when Soppeland fired 50 to 100 rounds, was a factor. Soppeland replied, “Yes, I feel the muscle memory from that recent training of squeezing the trigger contributed to the unintentional discharge during a high-stress situation.”

Luckily it wasn’t a church van full of innocent children that Soppeland pulled over that fateful night — as his ‘muscle memory’ could have killed them.

As soon as the investigation had begun, it was then over — Soppeland was taken off of paid vacation and immediately placed back on regular duty.

Imagine for a moment that Soppeland was not granted a badge and a uniform from the town of Eden Prairie, and he attempted to use the same excuse for discharging a firearm at an unarmed, nonviolent individual. Do you feel that he would have been granted the same leniency?

What if Soppeland was the owner of a private shooting range and he accidentally shot one of his customers? Would that shooting range be opened the next day? Would Soppeland ever be able to operate a shooting range again? The short answer is, no. The range would likely be closed down, and Soppeland would be facing charges of negligence, at a minimum.

However, because Soppeland is a police officer, he not only faces no consequences but he was put back out on the street to do it again.

What this case illustrates is that police in America are subject to a different set of rules than the rest of us. Their ‘qualified immunity’ sets them above the same laws that apply to everyone else, and they are subsequently allowed to cause harm to others without the fear of repercussions.

There was one person who was charged in this incident, however, and that was Hovland-Knase. After being shot by Soppeland, Hovland-Knase was arrested and convicted of fleeing an officer.

Soppeland’s case is hardly unique, cops ‘accidentally’ shoot people quite often, and get away with it.

Last year, on Thanksgiving night, with his 23-year-old wife, Darien Ehorn in the passenger’s seat, Andrew Thomas left the Canteena Bar and was immediately pursued by Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster.

After Thomas lost control of the SUV, Officer Feaster then gets out of his car, gun drawn, and as Thomas attempts to get out of the vehicle, in a likely attempt to check on his wife, the cop shoots him in the neck.

When backup arrived on the scene, Feaster said nothing of discharging his firearm. For 11 minutes, Thomas lay bleeding out in the vehicle before anyone even found the shot.

Only when the commanding officer on the scene suggested an investigator return to the Canteena to find out if Thomas had been shot at the bar did Feaster reveal he’d pulled the trigger.

In spite of shooting a man in the neck and being caught red-handed trying to cover it up, Feaster faces zero consequences. Last month, Feaster walked.

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  • whiteberry

    “during a high-stress situation”… isn’t issuing driving citations a common occurrence and a large part of his everyday duties? If he considers that to be high stress then he is in the wrong line of work! That is like a fast food worker saying they accidentally shot someone because they ordered some food…

    • Not quite, but I’ve seen new drive-through cashiers pass food out a window before payment has been received, and that is pretty similar.

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  • curenado

    What a retard. He was hoping to shoot the kid and just actually did it. People that juvenile and hair brained running around having power over others – must feel dumb to be that inept and dumb

  • nlightened2

    Although considered state of the art firearm, this is the reason I wouldn’t own a Glock. Way to much of a hair trigger.
    “In a world where sh1t tries to happen, a hair is not always enough.’

    • You must not have much experience with Glock, because they are no more likely to be fired by accident than any other firearm. Their trigger safety makes them far safer than a handgun which one has to fumble for the safety lever on. A Glock’s hair trigger can’t defeat the double trigger safety.

      • nlightened2

        Your first assumption that I don’t have any experience with a glock is completely wrong. Your first statement that a handgun (Glock) that has a hair trigger is far safer than another handgun that has a much heavier double action trigger pull (1st round) is inane. The glock was design for the quick draw enthusiast, not for safety . As for your last sentence, well it does’t make any sense at all. The cop that shot the guy on the bike obviously knew right away he screwed up and it was not intentional. Something else happened off camera and we may never know what. Maybe a policy where you don’t need to draw down on so many people all the time might be a good way to diffuse an ever increasing tension between the police and the public.

        • You apparently don’t know the difference between a hair trigger and a trigger safety.

          • nlightened2

            And again your inane assumption makes an ass out of you much more than it does me.

          • Infidel51

            No he’s right. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • archer

          He was far enough away from the cyclist that he wasn’t under any threat at all, he should not be allowed to remain a officer, I hope the victim sues and makes these clowns pay. Finger should not be on trigger no matter what type of pistol.

    • LiberalsRLost

      None of my pistols have ever performed an “unintentional” discharge….It has and always will be “the operator” ….
      This is nothing more then “the thin blue line” in CYA mode as usual …

  • Mr. Jameson

    Welcome to Nazi Germany everyone. It only gets worse from here, and just like the armed forces don’t want you if you are a devout Christian, the police force doesn’t want you unless you are nucking futz and corruptable.

    • Reverend Draco

      Christians have no business in the armed forces to begin with. . . so, good that they’re not wanted.

  • Mike

    accident my butt. Freaking cop needs to be fired. All police departments need to be disbanded.

  • randy wellman

    shoot first, and ask questions NEVER!…look a little closer…i wil give 3 to 5 odds he had a vacation planned, and was told he couldn’t get the time off for it. so he shoots this guy, and viola. now he’s got a paid vacation for probly LONGER than he actually needed….now THAT’s a smart cop there!

  • Smarty

    Cop: “You see, detective, about three weeks ago I pounded off about 75 rounds and”…..
    Detective: “Say no more. It makes sense to me. I can easily see that happening. It’s a wonder you didn’t unload the whole fucking magazine instead of just one round. It happens all the time. Don’t lose any sleep over this….it could happen to anyone. Now get back to work, there are some doughnuts on the counter”…..

  • Mark Williams

    Cops & Feds have shot and killed more people since 9-11 than people who died in 9-11!

    • Reverend Draco

      Cops have shot and killed more people in the last 4 years than the number that died on 9-11.

      So. . . when does the DoD plan to go after those terrorists?

  • One has to wonder if anyone that Soppeland stops for a routine traffic violation is subject to such suspicion and caution on his part. If a traffic stop is stressful, maybe he should be patrolling a desk.

  • Art V

    The problem is that Police officers are given leniency when there should be no leniency … It is indeed a high stress job, BUT they freely and willingly took the job. They should be judged the same as anyone else, OTHERWISE their authority and the public trust will be undermined – which has already happened …

    • Reverend Draco

      They volunteered to be an agent of the government – with no rights.

      They should be held to a HIGHER standard.

  • Sammy

    Intentional or not it’s completely unacceptable.

  • otis cambell

    My dad always said, there is something very wrong with a person who wants to put on a gun & badge & tell other people what to do. I bet this turd got beat up frequently as a teen.

  • Jon Geissinger

    When a car load of rednecks (I am a redneck) fills an officer full of holes because one of their buddy’s is shot in front of them unnecessarily, then what happens?
    We have a mass shooting. Nobody will be excused then.
    The cops better step up and get some brains before they become the target of intentional violence, which in the end will be wrong.

  • When 666 declares MartiaN law theres’ gonna’ be a lot of drones getting shot and probably a lot of idiots like this policy enforcer for the mob called the IMF

  • Rebel

    The people in that state need to demand the removal of this officer from the force, and then charge him with firing his weapon. Weather it was intentional or not, is not the question here. Who is to say that the jerk won’t kill another person. Could be one of your loved ones. I would sue the crap out of the police department, and demand the removal of all those involved in the decision to put this irresponsible cop back on the streets. If you, or I would have committed a crime by saying we accidentally shot someone, we would be wearing a jump suit.