Watch CBS News

Man who killed 3 Minnesota first responders identified as Shannon Gooden

Shannon Gooden, gunman who killed Burnsville first responders, was barred from owning firearms
Shannon Gooden, gunman who killed Burnsville first responders, was barred from owning firearms 02:15

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has confirmed the name of the man behind Sunday's standoff in a Minneapolis suburb that left three first responders dead.

Shannon Gooden, 38, died after fatally shooting Burnsville police officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand, and firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth. Sgt. Adam Medlicott was also injured and has since been released from the hospital.

RELATED: Public funeral for 3 first responders killed in Burnsville to be held Feb. 28

A report by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office lists Gooden's manner of death as suicide.

The BCA says Gooden barricaded himself in his rented Burnsville home early Sunday morning. Also inside were Gooden's girlfriend and seven children who ranged in age from 2 to 15.

The BCA says all family members made it out of the home safely after Gooden shot himself.

Shannon Gooden/Facebook

Gooden's criminal history

Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said during a press conference on Monday that Gooden was heavily armed.

"He had several guns and large amounts of ammunition, and shot at the police officers from multiple positions within the home," Evans said.

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

Video of Gooden on social media shows his interest in firearms, and he is seen in some videos firing weapons.

Court records show Gooden had been barred from possessing firearms and ammo after he was convicted of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in 2008. He also had misdemeanor convictions for disorderly conduct in 2004 and 2005.  

Shannon Gooden/Facebook

In the assault case from 2007, Gooden got into a fight with a man outside a shopping center. He threatened to stab the man with a knife before he was disarmed by a security guard. Gooden then assaulted the man with landscaping rocks and smashed his vehicle's windows.

Prosecutors tell WCCO a big part of the investigation is determining how Gooden got the guns used in Sunday's shooting, with a focus on the search for "straw purchasers," or those who buy guns for someone prohibited from possessing them.

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

According to Minnesota law, someone who buys a gun for a felon could face a gross misdemeanor that can lead to up to a year in jail. If someone transfers a gun to a known felon, and they use it in a violent crime within a year, that person could face a felony charge and up to five years in prison.

Gooden petitioned in 2020 for the restoration of his rights to have firearms, which was later denied by a district court judge. The petition read, "Mr. Gooden has taken significant steps to prove his value as a productive and law-abiding citizen." It also said by allowing him to have his gun rights restored, "he would be able to protect not only himself but his family as well."

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

The petition, which included character witnesses statements of support from family and friends, also stated Gooden had completed courses on parenting and anger management. He was steadily employed at a Rosemount auto body shop and had completed a degree at Dakota County Technical College.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom objected, writing in a response that Gooden "has had additional encounters with police, involving assaults, disorderly conduct, and numerous traffic violations demonstrating a continued disregard to obey the law."

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

Backstrom also noted that one of the character witnesses had filed an order of protection against Gooden in 2017 after he allegedly headbutted her, giving her a concussion and a black eye. She also accused him of throwing her down a staircase. She failed to appear in court and her petition was dismissed.

Backstrom's response also stated that Noemi Torres, mother to three of Gooden's children who were with him during Sunday's deadly standoff, also filed an order of protection in 2020, stating in the filing that she feared for her life.

RELATED: Burnsville warns of crowdfunding scams involving slain first responders

Torres alleged in a 2014 incident that Gooden "cut her clothes" with a knife before side-swiping her foot "which resulted in Torres falling down the stairs."

The document also states Torres accused Gooden of pulling her hair and throwing her against walls, as well as encouraging "his family members" to assault her. Her petition was dismissed because the court decided the allegations couldn't be proven.

Torres describes her children's experiences in standoff

Torres told WCCO Monday that the mother of Gooden's current girlfriend called 911 before Sunday's deadly confrontation. 

"His current girlfriend, her mother actually was calling the police department, you know, making a report about the safety of her daughter and her grandkids," Torres said.

RELATED: Domestic calls posing greater danger for law enforcement

She says her 12-year-old daughter narrowly dodged danger.

"She said she was in the bathtub, but then he started shooting out the bathroom window and she got like glass shards on her arm," Torres said.

Noemi Torres WCCO

Torres says her two boys are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The 15-year-old was asleep and awoke to loud banging. Her 12-year-old boy was in the room next to his father.

"He said he covered his ears, he heard the loud noises and he took the little babies and him and they all (got in the) fetal position on the floor of the closet," Torres said.

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

Her 12-year-old girl then saw something no one should ever have to see.

"He told her he loved her, and then she sat back down on the bed, and that's when he took his life," Torres said.  


A 14-year-old girl was also in the room and called for help, saying he wasn't breathing.

Torres says her three children are back with her now.

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

"My kids are innocent. Those kids are all innocent," Torres said.

She said courts should do a better job of examining red flags in custody disputes, and she expressed her sympathy for the fallen first responders.

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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.