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After 2 officers, paramedic killed in Burnsville, Minnesota, support pours in on social media

Tributes pour in for fallen Burnsville first responders
Tributes pour in for fallen Burnsville first responders 02:37

MINNEAPOLISTwo police officers and a paramedic were killed Sunday morning after responding to a domestic call in a Burnsville neighborhood. 


Burnsville city officials identified the victims as officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth.

They were responding to a call about an armed man who was reportedly barricaded with family members inside a residence. City officials say "the situation escalated into gunfire," and Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth were fatally shot. A third officer was wounded and is expected to survive.

The suspect, identified by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as 38-year-old Shannon Gooden, died by suicide, according to the medical examiner. Family members inside the home were able to escape safely, according to city officials.

RELATED: Burnsville shooting suspect identified as Shannon Gooden

Elmstrand joined the Burnsville Police Department in 2017 and was promoted in 2019. Ruge, also 27, joined the force in 2020. Finseth, 40, has been a firefighter and paramedic in the city since 2019.  

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

But they are not the only people sharing their condolences with Burnsville PD.   

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

Former Rep. Jim Nash took to social media platform X (formally known as Twitter) saying, "My heart is heavy for the families of these officers, the community of Burnsville, and for our country because this headline is not unique." 

Secretary of State Steve Simon also posted to X, "Sickening and shocking. I'm praying for these first responders, their families, and the community of Burnsville." 

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara said, "Please keep Burnsville Police Dept. in your prayers this morning." 

The Olmstead County Sheriff's Office said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the officers shot and the entire Burnsville Police Department."

Maple Grove Police Department said, "Please keep the Burnsville police and fire departments in your thoughts and prayers during this very tragic time."

Washington County Sheriff's Office said, "We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of our partners in Burnsville today. There are no words."

The Plymouth Police Department said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burnsville Police Department this morning."

READ MORE: Five Minnesota policeman gunned down in line of duty since 2015

Rep. Betty McCollum said, "Horrible news from Burnsville this morning. My heart is going out to their Department and the entire community."

Rep. Pete Stauber said, "Devastating news coming out of Burnsville this morning. My prayers are with the fallen officers and paramedic, their families, and the entire Burnsville community. This is a terribly sad reminder of the grave danger posed to our brave law enforcement officers."

Rep. Angie Craig also shared her thoughts on X saying, "I'm devastated to hear the news coming out of Burnsville this morning & remain in close contact with local officials & law enforcement to offer any federal support they need. I'm keeping the Burnsville PD, first responders, their loved ones & the entire community in my thoughts."

Minnesota House speaker, Senate majority leader respond to Burnsville tragedy, talk gun violence and 07:06

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, "Three lives lost in the line of duty today, protecting young children from unspeakable danger. My heart goes out to their families and loved ones."

St. Paul's division of ATF said, "ATF agents are responding to a scene in Burnsville, Minn., where there have been reports of officers involved in a domestic-related shooting. Information is limited at this time."

In an official statement released by Gov. Tim Walz, he remarked, "We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our first responders make each and every day. 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."

The statement also featured thoughts from Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan:

"There are no words to describe a loss of this magnitude to our Burnsville and first responder community. The tragedies that unfolded this morning are every family's worst nightmare, yet our first responders stay selflessly committed to keeping Minnesotans safe every day. I am immensely grateful for the sacrifices and service of our police officers, firefighters, and medics, and my heart is heavy with grief for the three heroes we lost today."

Walz has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff beginning Feb. 19 at sunrise.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy joined WCCO's Esme Murphy on Sunday Morning, also sharing their condolences, as well as discussing gun violence and other top issues they're addressing in the upcoming legislative session.

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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