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Prosecutors say struggle led to Plover cop shooting man during traffic stop

STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - A Plover police officer struggled with a man who approached him with a knife, just before the officer shot and wounded him during a traffic stop.

That's what prosecutors said in an attempted homicide complaint against the shooting victim, 33-year-old Brett Lieberman of Manawa.

He made an initial court appearance by video Tuesday in Portage County. He's due back in court October 6th, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial.

Plover officer Andy Hopfensperger stopped Lieberman on August 8th for driving erratically. Officials said Lieberman jumped out of his pickup truck, ran at the officer with clenched fists, and pulled a knife as he got closer.

Prosecutors said Lieberman grabbed the officer and stabbed downward -- and Hopfensperger blocked each stabbing attempt. The officer yelled at the suspect several times to get him to stop.

Eventually, officials said Hopfensperger pushed the man away, drew his handgun, and shot several times while believing that Lieberman was intending to kill him.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)