Warrant: Twin Cities biology teacher shot by Mankato officer was high on drugs

Published 9:50 am Monday, January 16, 2017

MANKATO — Court documents show that investigators suspect a biology teacher from the Twin Cities area was high on multiple drugs when he was fatally shot by a Mankato police officer who responded to a disturbance at a hotel.

Search warrants filed in Blue Earth District Court say a friend who partied with Chase Anthony Tuseth, 33, of Chanhassen before he died in the early hours of Dec. 31 told a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent he believed his friend took LSD and ecstasy.

The warrants also said messages on Tuseth’s phone suggest he took LSD, ecstasy and the stimulant Adderall, and that suspected drugs were found in his hotel room, according to a press release. The BCA filed the warrants so it could search Tuseth’s phone and hotel room.

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Tuseth, who was white, was a 2008 Minnesota State University graduate and taught at the Tokata Learning Center, an alternative high school in Shakopee, where he was considered an innovative teacher.

According to the warrants, a friend, Willard Pierce, told investigators he was with Tuseth at a bar until closing time. He said Tuseth took something that the friend believed was LSD, and said that Tuseth told him he had also taken ecstasy. They also had been drinking heavily, he reported.

They took a cab back to Country Inn and Suites. Pierce said he couldn’t get Tuseth to go into their room.

A hotel employee called police just after 4 a.m. because Tuseth was disorderly. While police were en route, the female employee reported that Tuseth removed his shirt, came behind the front desk and started throwing things.

According to investigators, officer Gary Schnorenberg, a 30-year veteran, encountered Tuseth in a hallway and, after successfully using a stun gun, was trying to handcuff Tuseth when Tuseth broke free and began hitting and kicking the officer. Schnorenberg fired, striking Tuseth, who died despite attempts to revive him.

The investigation is continuing.