Documentary tells the story of Waseca police officer after being shot on duty

“They understand that dad’s different but they know that what dad sacrificed saved people’s lives,” said Arik Matson in the documentary “The Weight of the Crown,” which was shown on campus in Ostrander Theater this past sunday.

“The Weight of the Crown” tells the story of how Matson, a former member of the Waseca police department was shot in the head and left disabled while responding to a call in January of 2020 as well as how Matson managed to recover from his injuries. The documentary also tells about the hunting trip of a lifetime to shoot the elusive King Eider duck Matson was able to make thanks to Hometown Heroes Outdoors.

“It’s a prize duck, it’s beautiful, it’s extreme conditions and I knew that’s where I wanted to go right away,” said Matson, speaking as to why he wanted to hunt the King Eider specifically.

The audience at the showing in Ostrander was primarily made up of law enforcement officers, many in uniform, professors in the criminal justice department and members of the community. Prior to the start of the documentary, Matson, an MSU Mankato alumni, greeted people in the hallway outside of Ostrander.

“He [Matson] was pleasant, easygoing and most of the time had a smile on his face. He’s a good man,” said Tamara Wilkins, a professor in the criminal justice program who taught Matson.

Wilkins also shared her response when she heard that Matson had been shot.

“Tears, pain, fear, worry. Still that, we still have so many out there in the field. The fear and hatred that people have for so many who have done so much to only be the best, most kindest, most compassionate people they can be,” said Wilkins.

“The Weight of the Crown” was shown by campus security following a request by the Mankato Department of Public Safety. Director of campus security Sandi Schorenberg and commander Justin Neumann of the Mankato Department of public safety served popcorn.

“The Weight of the Crown” went quite a bit in-depth on Arik Matson’s recovery following his injury.

“I’d say the hardest part of my recovery was how I’d have to change being a father cause I can’t roughhouse with them like I used to when they was younger, I can’t run and chase after them or play sports,” said Matson in the documentary.

Before the start of the documentary Megan Matson, Arik Matsons’ wife, introduced the documentary and announced that they would be collecting money to donate to the families of three first responders who had been killed in Burnsville on the morning of the screening.

“We are accepting donations and originally they were supposed to go back to HHO [Hometown Heroes Outdoors] but we felt it was in our hearts, that we wanted to give it to the families that were involved in the shooting,” said Megan Matson.

Hope was one message Arik Matson wanted audiences to take away from the documentary.

“To give the people the mindset, if you feel it’s not going to ever happen [recovery], to keep putting the effort in, because it can happen,” said Matson.

Header photo: The Weight of the Crown was shown in the Ostrander Theater in the Centennial Student Union Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (Nate Tilahun/The Reporter)

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

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