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Grand Jury Clears Golden Valley Police Officer in I-394 Shooting

Officer Robert Zarrett shot Katherine Gordon after she pointed a gun at him. She died at the scene.

A Hennepin County grand jury cleared a Golden Valley police officer for his involvement in a fatal shooting last September on Interstate 394.

According to , Officer Robert Zarrett of the Golden Valley Police Department spotted a car driving 90 mph on the interstate on Sept. 22, 2011.

The driver was Katherine Marie Gordon, 58.

"Gordon did not pull over, and her car wove in and out of the traffic lanes, still at a high rate of speed," according to a news release posted Thursday afternoon on the city's website. "She eventually pulled her car to the left lane of I-394 near Hopkins Crossroad, quickly exited the vehicle through the driver’s door, and pointed a handgun at Zarrett.

"In the interest of his own safety and that of others on the busy freeway, Zarrett fired upon Gordon, fatally wounding her." Gordon's gun was near her body, according to the news release.

“This was a tragic event for Zarrett, Gordon and her family, and the community as a whole,” Golden Valley Police Chief Stacy Carlson said in the news release. “It does highlight 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.”

In Carlson said, "After an officer-involved shooting, it is common for the public to ask why the officer didn’t just shoot the gun out of someone’s hand or hit them in the kneecap—like they do on TV. The answer is that TV is not reality, and many officers have been killed by someone who was able to continue firing a gun even after being partially wounded."

, details about Gordon’s mental state surfaced. According to Edina police reports, Gordon went to the police station and asked to be taken to the hospital two months before the incident because she believed “a spirit of the devil/Satan was inside her.”

The news release did not address Gordon’s mental state.

Before this incident, Carlson said the last time a Golden Valley officer fatally shot someone was 31 years ago.

Brad Kadue May 12, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I'm glad to hear this news. Thank you to officer Zarrett and all officers who first put their lives, then their careers (when something like this occurs) on the line in order to protect and serve the communities in which they work. Thank you.

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