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Report: Fatal shootout began when suspect fired on police

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An exchange of gunfire between a police officer and two brothers who were shot and killed on a road near Sebeka began when one of the suspects opened fire on the officer and a sheriff’s deputy, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a report released Tuesday.

Authorities say brothers David Savela, 42, and Shannon Savela, 36, both of Sebeka, were killed Saturday night in the shooting that happened after a traffic stop in North Germany Township. Wadena County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Mayer attempted to pull over David Savela for speeding, resulting in a brief pursuit that ended when Savela tried to spin his vehicle around and became stuck in the snow, authorities said.

David Savela would not identify himself and refused commands to exit, the report said. Shortly thereafter, Shannon Savela arrived on scene. After Mayer unsuccessfully tried to subdue David Savela with his Taser, the deputy pulled Savela from the vehicle and they fought on the ground next to the driver’s side.

Authorities say Sebeka Police Officer Jason Worm arrived at that point, told Shannon Savela to leave and tried to help Mayer arrest David Savela. That’s when Shannon Savela moved to the passenger side of Mayer’s squad car and began shooting, striking both Worm and Mayer.

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 and was shot by Worm. Worm then moved toward Mayer’s squad car and shot Shannon Savela after Savela pointed his gun at the officer, the BCA said.

David Savela died at the scene. Shannon Savela was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Mayer, an 11-year-veteran with the sheriff’s office, sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound and was treated and released at a hospital. Worm, who has been a Sebeka police officer for 10 years, was struck by gunfire in his bullet-resistant vest but was not injured. Both men have been placed on standard administrative leave.

A civilian passenger who was riding with the deputy never exited the squad car during the incident and was uninjured, the report said.

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This version corrects the spelling of the last name of Officer Jason Worm.