The man fatally shot during an altercation with police in a fast-food restaurant in Plymouth was identified Sunday as a 31-year-old who lived a mile from the scene of the shooting.
Derek R. Wolfsteller was fatally shot in the head Thursday night at the Arby’s on Hwy. 55 just west of Hwy. 169, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.
Wolfsteller had been suffering from a mental health crisis shortly before his death, according to sources with knowledge of the case. Wolfsteller called police from the restaurant about 8:20 p.m. saying he needed help dealing with a crisis, sources said. At the same time, an Arby’s employee called 911 about a disturbance at the restaurant.
Officer Amy Therkelsen responded and received information while on the way that Wolfsteller had a weapon and was in the restaurant, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). When she arrived, two people were attempting to subdue him.
When he did not immediately follow Therkelsen’s commands, she deployed her Taser, but it proved ineffective. She attempted to subdue Wolfsteller physically, and a fight ensued during which he tried to remove her weapon from its holster, the DPS said.
Therkelsen gained control of her gun and fired at Wolfsteller, killing him, according to the preliminary investigation. No other weapons were recovered from the scene.
Plymouth Police Chief Michael S. Goldstein said his department has had previous contact with Wolfsteller. The chief declined to elaborate.
Wolfsteller’s criminal history in Minnesota spans nearly his entire adult life and includes convictions for drunken driving and other alcohol-related offenses, theft, drug possession and criminal damage to property.
More than a week before Wolfsteller was killed, his grandparents had called Plymouth police for assistance because he was having mental health difficulties, sources said. When they couldn’t help, they took him to a hospital for treatment, sources said.
Shortly after his release, the man ended up at Arby’s and was shot during the confrontation, sources said.
Therkelsen, who has been with the Plymouth Police Department for seven years, was placed on standard administrative leave.
Wolfsteller noted online at linkedin.com that he was currently a chef at a Romano’s Macaroni Grille. There are two in the Twin Cities, one in Roseville and one in Edina.