South Lake Minnetonka officer on leave after firing gun during vehicle pursuit

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says a South Lake Minnetonka police officer is on standard administrative leave after firing his gun during a vehicle pursuit in last week in the western Twin Cities metro area.

In an update this week, the BCA said officer Zachary Robertson has 18 years of law enforcement experience. The agency continues to investigate the March 26 incident.

The chase started when officers attempted to stop Amanda Nelson, 33, who had an arrest warrant out of Illinois. She did not comply with the stop, driving onto Highway 7. Officers followed her and attempted multiple maneuvers to stop the car. 

Nelson’s vehicle eventually spun out. While stopped, Robertson reportedly saw Nelson point a gun at him. He fired his handgun at her multiple times through the windshield of his car. Nelson was not injured by the gunfire and continued to drive away.

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Nelson was arrested after her car crashed along Highway 41 during the chase. After law enforcement negotiated with her for four and a half hours, she was taken into custody. She was treated for minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

In its update this week, the BCA said its investigators found an air pistol in Nelson’s car.

Nelson faces charges for assaulting two officers, after allegedly pointing the air pistol at Robertson and one other officer.

The BCA said its investigation includes a review of squad and body camera footage of the incident. The agency will present its findings to the Carver County Attorney’s Office.