City identifies 2 officers, 1 paramedic killed in Burnsville, Minnesota; suspect also dead

A look at the 3 first responders killed in the Burnsville standoff

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Two police officers and a paramedic were shot and killed in a Twin Cities suburb Sunday morning, authorities said, and the man who shot them is also dead.

Superintendent Drew Evans with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Burnsville police officers were called to a home at about 1:50 a.m. on 33rd Avenue South and East 126th Street, just west of the Interstate 35E - Highway 77 interchange.

The suspect, whom the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified Monday as 38-year-old Shannon Gooden, was inside and reported to be armed. Several others were also barricaded inside, including seven young children ranging in age from 2 to 15.

RELATED: How to help the families of Burnsville police officers and paramedic killed in shooting

Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and paramedic Adam Finseth. (left to right)  City of Burnsville

RELATED: Wife of fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand: "He had to do what he thought was right"

Evans said law enforcement "spent quite a bit of time negotiating with this individual," and paramedics came in for backup at about 5 a.m. Minutes later, dispatch ordered everyone to stay back after Gooden opened fire.

Burnsville city officials identified the victims as officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth. Sgt. Adam Medlicott, 38, was also shot but is expected to survive.

Gooden was reported dead at about 8 a.m., and the family members in the home made it out safely a short time later. A medical examiner said Gooden died by suicide.

Evans said details surrounding the timing and exchange of gunfire are not clear at this point in the investigation.

"Several officers did return fire," Evans said. "I will note this individual had several guns and large amounts of ammunition."

RELATED: Who were the officers and paramedic fatally shot in Burnsville?

The fallen first responders

City officials said 27-year-old Elmstrand, from Chaska, joined the Burnsville Police Department in 2017 and was promoted in 2019. His wife spoke to CBS News and said they've been married for five years and have two young children. 

"I think he just had to be the hero. He had to do what he thought was right to protect those little lives even if it meant putting his at risk and it breaks my heart because now he's gone. But I know that he thought what he did was right," she said.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office announced Monday that Elmstrand died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

RELATED: Procession to Jordan honors fallen paramedic Adam Finseth

Ruge, also 27, joined the force in 2020. The Northfield resident was a physical evidence officer as well as a member of BPD's crisis negotiations team. He died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the HCME.

Finseth, 40, has been a firefighter and SWAT paramedic in the city since 2019. Fire Chief B.J. Jungmann says Finseth, a Savage resident, previously worked with the fire departments in Savage and Hastings. He died from gunshot wounds to his right arm and torso as he was trying to aid the wounded officers.

Finseth was also a volunteer youth baseball coach for Prior Lake/Savage, according to the Prior Lake Athletics for Youth Facebook page. He served in the Army's Bravo Company 1st Battalion 327th Infantry during Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to his LinkedIn page.

Funeral details will be shared in the coming days.

Law enforcement discuss killings of 3 Burnsville first responders

Medlicott, who has been with BPD for nearly a decade, was released from Hennepin Healthcare Monday and is recovering at home. Meldicott was Burnsville's Officer of the Year in 2020 and was promoted to sergeant in 2022. He is a drug recognition expert who also supervises community service officers.

Police Chief Tanya Schwartz says her department is "hurting."

RELATED: Burnsville shooting suspect identified as Shannon Gooden

"Today, three members of our team made the ultimate sacrifice for this community. They are heroes," Schwartz said. "Every day we pray that they go home to their families. And today that's not happening. We're heartbroken. We are going to need time to be together. Our families need time to grieve."

Jungmann says Sunday was the toughest day the city has ever experienced.

"It's a tragic day, we're all grieving, and we're all trying to understand what happened and why," Jungmann said.

RELATED: 5 Minnesota law enforcement members have been fatally shot since 2015

Neighbors describe the scene

Jason Skog said he started to see a large police and SWAT presence in the neighborhood at about 2 a.m., but said things escalated around 5 a.m.

"I heard a loud explosion, which I chalked up right away to a motor going off, like a firework. But then like a minute later I heard another one, followed shortly thereafter by a series of gunfire, really rapid," Skog said. "Then I knew right away that something bad was taking place."

Skog didn't know exactly where the shooting was coming from, but he knew it was close to his home.

"Shortly thereafter, we got a phone call from the police department to shelter in place, go to your basement and shelter in place," Skog said.  

RELATED: Burnsville warns of crowdfunding scams involving slain first responders

Sgt. Adam Medlicott, who was wounded in the shooting Burnsville Police

Dylan Foline also lives in this neighborhood. The father of two is shaken by what happened, especially after learning that a family was barricaded in the home at the time of the shooting. 

"This is a tragedy, and I have to now explain to my daughter what happened today, and it's just the thought of those kids, that's what really hits home to me and my heart goes out to the families of the responders," Foline said.

Shawn Flynn lives around the corner.

RELATED: Domestic calls posing greater danger for law enforcement

"Definitely some extra hugs and cuddles this morning with my boys and wife," Flynn said. "Thankful that something like that hasn't happened in our life and it hopefully never will. It's also a stark reminder that you never know you wake up Sunday morning and everything has gone sideways."

Hundreds line metro streets to honor victims

At Hennepin Healthcare in downtown Minneapolis, police and first responders from multiple cities gathered to show support Sunday afternoon. Injured officers are often taken to the hospital due to its status as a level-one trauma center.

RELATED: Hundreds line Twin Cities streets to honor 3 Burnsville first responders killed in line of duty

Their caskets, draped in American flags, were carried into vans outside the hospital as a crowd of law enforcement stood to salute them.  


Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff lined up in the skyway to see them off. Police, fire and paramedic vehicles stayed close as the vans departed downtown.

When they reached the medical examiner's office, the escort didn't end at the entrance. The group walked in alongside the fallen first responders so they were never alone. 

Gov. Tim Walz reacts

Support and condolences from Minnesota state leaders and other law enforcement agencies are pouring in on social media.

"We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our first responders make each and every day," Walz said in a statement. "Today, the families of these public servants received the call they knew was possible but hoped would never come. My heart is with those grieving families — the State of Minnesota stands ready to support in any way we can. This is a tragic loss for our state."  

Walz ordered flags be flown at half-staff starting Monday at sunrise and issued a proclamation for each victim.

"It is with deepest gratitude that our state recognizes their service to, and sacrifice for, their fellow Minnesotans," Walz wrote on Twitter/X Monday. "Minnesota stands with Burnsville."

Vigil held for victims outside Burnsville City Hall

Dozens gathered outside Burnsville City Hall Sunday evening to remember and pay respects to the fallen first responders.

Burnsville City Manager Gregg Lindberg thanked the community for its support and grace. 

"It's been an emotional day. It's been a hard day," Lindberg said. "I have the distinct privilege of working alongside the men and women of our police department and our fire department who choose to come to work every day and risk their lives to the benefit of all of us."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Angie Craig were also on hand to pay their respects.  


"I can't imagine the pain that you're all going through. I just can't imagine," Craig said. "But what I want to say is to all of our officers out there, to all of our paramedics, our fire department, thank you for what you do."

Police from cities across the metro showed solidarity, a part of a grieving community that reaches far beyond Burnsville.

The Officer Down Memorial Page says a total of 18 officers nationwide have been killed in the line of duty so far this year. Six officers died by gunfire. 

RELATED: Memorial grows in Burnsville for first responders killed during standoff with gunman

Suicide prevention and domestic violence resources

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email

For anonymous, confidential help, people can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.

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