Deputy shot and paralyzed in 1991 has died

 

April 17, 2014

ST. CROIX FALLS A western Wisconsin sheriff's deputy who was paralyzed after being shot by a suspect in 1991 has died, and he will be buried with full law enforcement honors during a funeral expected to draw officers from several states, according to the Polk County sheriff.

Polk County Deputy Michael Seversen was shot and Burnett County Deputy Allen Albee was killed when they confronted a shooting suspect on the run from Minnesota's Chisago County. The suspect, Robert Reineccius, was killed by officers.

Seversen had recently been suffering from severe medical issues, and he died Monday at his home in St. Croix Falls, said Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson. Seversen was 50 years old.

Despite requiring a mechanically operated "sip and puff" wheelchair for the rest of his life, Seversen lived independently and remained active in the sheriff's office, Johnson said. He used a voice-activated computer to open doors, and run the lights, TV and stereo in his home.

"We just couldn't believe he accepted what happened," said Seversen's brother, Mark. "Obviously, it was horrible, but he embraced what it meant to live paralyzed and kept caring for people and enjoying life."

Although many years have passed since the shooting, Severson's death was classified as in the line of duty, the Star Tribune reported (http://strib.mn/1l2jhOI ).

Johnson said he is expecting "hundreds of squads" from around Wisconsin and other states at the funeral Saturday, the the 23rd anniversary of the shooting.

The sheriff also expects "several hundred, if not thousands" of law enforcement officers who also will participate in the 15-mile procession to the ceremony following the funeral in St. Croix Falls. Seversen will be buried in the Kost Evangelical Free Church graveyard, east of North Branch, Minn., where his parents are also buried.

 


Associated Press