BCA names officers, suspects involved in weekend shootout in Wadena County

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 4:33 PM CST
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WADENA, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota BCA has named the officers and suspects involved in a Saturday night shootout in North Germany Township in Wadena County.

Police say 42-year-old David Jay Savela and his brother 36-year-old Shannon Michael Savela, both died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Officials say Deputy Troy Mayer with the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Jason Worm with the Sebeka Police Department are both on administrative leave after the incident while the BCA continues their investigation.

Deputy Mayer has been with Wadena County for 11 years. Officials say Mayer discharged his taser, and sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound during the incident.

Officer Worm has been with Sebeka Police for 10 years. Worm discharged his firearm during the incident and was struck by gunfire in his bullet resistant vest, but was not injured.

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 car.

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. Officials say the officer then pulled David Savela from his vehicle and a struggle ensued on the ground next to the driver’s side of Savela’s car.

When Officer Worm arrived, officials say he instructed Shannon Savela to leave and joined Deputy Mayer in attempting to take David Savela into custody.

Officials say 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. Stick with Valley News Live as we continue to learn more.

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