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5 Minnesota law enforcement members have been fatally shot since 2015

3 first responders shot to death in Burnsville
3 first responders shot to death in Burnsville 06:20

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

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

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

Elmstrand, 27, 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. Sgt. Adam Medlicott with BPD was also shot but is expected to survive.

Including Elmstrand and Ruge, five Minnesota police officers have been shot and killed on duty since 2015, according in part to data from the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association.   

Matthew Ruge, Paul Elmstrand and Adam Finseth City of Burnsville

Before Sunday, three others had been shot and killed since 2015 while on duty

Joshua Owen, Pope County Sheriff's Office — April 15, 2023

Owen was killed on his birthday. He had just turned 44 years old.  

He was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call and later died of his injuries at a hospital. A second deputy and another police officer were also injured in the shooting. The gunman was killed.  

Ryan Andrew Bialke, Red Lake Police Department — July 27, 2021

Bialke, 37, was shot while responding to a call about a suicidal male who may have been inside a residence with children. Bialke died at the scene. He and four other Red Lake Tribal Police Department officers responded to the call.

The officers decided to force their way into the residence, with Bialke in the lead. When he kicked the door down, he was hit by gunfire from inside of the home.

Steven Martin Sandberg, Aitkin County Sheriff's Office — Oct. 18, 2015  

Sandberg, 60, was shot by the man he was guarding inside a St. Cloud hospital room.

Investigators say the shooter was not restrained to his bed and somehow managed to wrestle the deputy's service weapon away from Sandberg and shoot him, killing him.

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

Across the country

Before Sunday, four officers in the United States had been killed by gunfire this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Now, there are six.

Minnesota is the only state with two officers killed by gunfire in 2024.

Gov. Tim Walz responds after two officers, paramedic shot and killed in Burnsville 03:00

Four other Minnesota officers killed on duty since 2015

Sarah Grell died after a crash on May 24, 2021. Grell worked for the DNR.

Eugene Wynn Jr. drowned after responding to a report of a body in a lake on April 19, 2019. Wynn worked for the DNR. 

Joseph Brian Gomm was beaten to death by an inmate on July 18, 2018. Gomm worked for the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

William Allen Mathews died after a car struck him on Sep. 8, 2017. Mathews worked for the Wayzata Police Department.

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

Sunday's shooting marks the ninth time since June that first responders have been killed or hurt by gunfire in Minnesota or surrounding communities.

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

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