Shakopee teacher dies in Mankato officer-involved shooting

A man who died in an officer-involved shooting in Mankato, Minnesota over the weekend is being remembered as a dedicated, innovative teacher at a school in Shakopee.

According to Shakopee Public Schools, Chase Tuseth first started working at the Tokata Learning Center in Shakopee as a science and physical education teacher in August. Before that, he worked at the Integrated Arts Academy in Chaska.

Teaching legacy

“[Tuseth] was an innovative teacher,” said a statement from Eric Serbus, Tokata Learning Center principal. “He was always looking for the next and best way to connect with students. He brought his experience of project based learning from the Integrated Arts Academy to Shakopee Public Schools. He was on the cutting edge of learning.”

“I first met Chase over the summer when I was invited to be a guest speaker for the University of Minnesota’s educational leadership program,” said Shakopee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Thompson. “From our very first introduction, I immediately knew he would be an excellent addition to our district teaching staff and that he had the "it factor" to become an exceptional administrator.  We will miss his ambition, spirit, passion and dedication to our students and families.”

Grief counselors will be at Tokata Learning Center on Tuesday for staff and students.

What happened?

At 4:02 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 31, Mankato police responded to a disturbance at the Country Inn & Suites in Mankato. Tuseth was reportedly behind the counter in the lobby and was throwing items. 

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s preliminary investigation, Officer Gary Schnorenberg encountered Tuseth in a hallway of the hotel near the pool. After several verbal commands were not obeyed, Officer Schnorenberg used his Taser. During the ensuing attempt to handcuff Tuseth, he broke free and began hitting and kicking the officer. During this struggle, Officer Schnorenberg shot and killed Tuseth.

Officer Schnorenberg received treatment for injuries at Mayo Clinic Health and was released. Crews were unable to revive Tuseth.

The case is under investigation by the Minnesota BCA. Officer Schnorenberg is a 30-year veteran of the Mankato Department of Public Safety. He is on standard administrative leave during the investigation.