According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the two men who died during an officer involved shooting incident that happened on Saturday night in North Germany Township in Wadena County.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension press release stated that 42-year old David Jay Savela and 36-year-old Shannon Michael Savela both died of multiple gunshot wounds. The brothers were both residents of Sebeka.
In addition, the BCA has identified law enforcement who used force during the incident. Both are on standard administrative leave.
Deputy Troy Mayer has been with the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. Dep. Mayer discharged his Taser. Dep. Mayer sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound during the incident.
Officer Jason Worm has been with the Sebeka Police Department for 10 years. Officer Worm discharged his firearm during the incident. Worm was struck by gunfire in his bullet resistant vest but was not injured.
The BCA is investigating the incident at the request of the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and the Sebeka Police Department.
According to the BCA’s preliminary investigation, Deputy Mayer attempted to pull over David Savela’s vehicle for speeding at 8:48 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of 205th Ave. and 280th Ave. in North Germany Township. Savela did not stop and a brief pursuit ensued which ended when Savela attempted to spin his vehicle around and it became stuck in the snow facing Deputy Mayer’s squad near 205th and 270th avenues.
David Savela would not identify himself and refused commands to exit his vehicle. In the meantime, Shannon Savela arrived at the scene and approached the ongoing encounter. Deputy Mayer deployed his Taser toward David Savela but it was ineffective. He then pulled David Savela from his vehicle and a struggle ensued on the ground next to the driver’s side of Savela’s car. Officer Worm arrived, instructed Shannon Savela to leave and joined Deputy Mayer in attempting to take David Savela into custody.
Shannon Savela moved to the passenger side of Deputy Mayer’s squad and began shooting, striking both Deputy Mayer and Officer Worm. Mayer and Worm retreated to the passenger side of David Savela’s car, at which point David Savela stood up and pointed his gun at the officers. Officer Worm fired his handgun, striking David Savela. Officer Worm then moved toward Deputy Mayer’s squad. Shannon Savela pointed his gun at Officer Worm and the officer fired, striking Shannon Savela.
David Savela died at the scene. Shannon Savela was transported by ambulance to Tri-County Health Care in Wadena where he later died. Deputy Mayer was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Health in Park Rapids and then transferred to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. He was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. A civilian passenger who was riding with the deputy never exited the squad during the incident and was uninjured. Portions of the incident were captured on dash cameras and a deputy-worn body camera. BCA crime scene personnel recovered guns from near both David and Shannon Savela’s bodies.
The BCA investigation of this incident is ongoing. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without recommendation to the Wadena County Attorney’s Office for review.