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

Memorial grows in Burnsville for first responders killed during standoff with gunman
Memorial grows in Burnsville for first responders killed during standoff with gunman 01:58

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — A memorial continues to grow Monday outside the Burnsville Police Department.

Two law enforcement vehicles and a fire truck are parked out front to honor officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth.

RELATED: 2 officers, 1 paramedic killed in Burnsville, Minnesota

"It hits a community hard," said Burnsville resident Kevin Bondy.

Bondy and his family took time Monday morning to bring flowers and prayers to first responders.

"We want to make sure the police and fire feel supported, the community feels supported, and they are not alone through this and we are not going to forget them," he said.

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

"Nothing makes sense. It just doesn't make sense," said Lino Lakes resident Vicki Fellow. 

The high school teacher drove nearly an hour to be at the memorial.

"I teach criminology and this will be the topic of conversation tomorrow," she said. "As a teacher, you are supposed to have the answers, but there are no answers to this."

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

While the department grieves, other law enforcement agencies are helping to keep watch. Four pastors from River Valley Church spent much of the morning paying their respects.

"You have a deep admiration for what these men and women do for our communities and everything they do to serve us," said Pastor Zeus Vital. 

"Your heart is reminded of what these guys do every day. I'm like I don't know how they do it," said Pastor Aaron Topp. 

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

Topp first heard about what happened while at church on Sunday.

"Just remember they're humans like we are, and I mean they're experiencing stuff like this sometimes on a daily basis," he said. "These guys need all the support we can give them. All the love." 

In another show of support for Burnsville police and fire, Hope Breakfast Bar in Eagan will be donating 100% of its sales Tuesday to the families of the fallen first responders. 

Hope will be at the Burnsville City Hall on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to distribute free hot meals to anyone in need during this trying time.

Minnesotans travel far to honor slain first responders in Burnsville 03:14

Some first responders attended a church service at Spirit of Truth Church in Burnsville on Monday.

"Quite frankly, I'm not the most religious person in the world, but I do think there's space for prayer and I do think there's space for grief and healing," Robert Timmerman said.

Timmerman, on the city's planning commission, says its been difficult talking to his children about what happened

"You know, I have a 10-year-old and 8-year-old myself, and law enforcement in my family. This hit me from a lot of different angles," he said.

RELATED: Burnsville shooting suspect identified as Shannon Gooden

"There's no sense to be made of it. It's tragic for every person involved," pastor John Gordon said. "When these instances happen, we just do the good that we can. Continue to show the good in our community and uphold the good."

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz attended the service too.

"We will get through this, but before that we need to take the time to grieve and mourn and be with one another," Kautz said.

She says her priority is taking care of the families of the fallen.

"To surround them with love and care and then to take care of our police, fire and paramedics," Kautz said.

The nonprofit Front Line Foundation announced it's giving each family $20,000, saying financial stress is the last thing the families need to endure. The city also says sometime this week they will share official fundraisers for them as well.

RELATED: Burnsville warns of crowdfunding scams involving slain first responders

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