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Shannon Gooden's ex-partner speaks out about what happened and how the kids are doing

Shannon Gooden's ex-partner speaks out about what happened and how the kids are doing
Shannon Gooden's ex-partner speaks out about what happened and how the kids are doing 02:32

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — The lives of three children are forever changed after being in the house when their father opened fire, killing three first responders in Burnsville.

Noemi Torres says her three children ages 15, 14 and 12 are mourning the death of their father and the lives lost during a shootout at their Burnsville Home.  

"They're taking it one day at a time," said Torres. "They're still pretty much in the same state of shock and disbelief, and not having their dad here, its like a realization they're mourning their dad."

Torres and Shannon Gooden were together for ten years before parting ways in 2016. 

Torres says her children stayed with their dad, his current girlfriend and four other children.

MORE NEWS: Shannon Gooden fired 100+ rounds at Burnsville responders after claiming he was unarmed, BCA says

Family and individual therapy is what lies ahead for Torres and her family. She says she is learning from her children what was going on in that home, things she never knew.  

Torres says her sons were going to the shooting range with Gooden.

Her children told her in the early morning hours, during the standoff, Gooden attempted to get them to take up arms.  

"I never thought my son knew how to shoot guns," said Torres. "And that's basically what he wanted, a whole shoot out with my kids involved [with] the cops."

Her heart goes out to the first responders. She says her children are alive because of their courage and bravery.

Torres says her children were there when Gooden misled the officers first on scene.

RELATED: Shooting that took the lives of 3 first responders puts spotlight on domestic violence awareness

"He was asking Shannon, 'Do you have guns?', and he lied and said 'no,' [first responders asked] 'are the kids safe?' and he said 'yes.' I feel like they didn't know what they were getting into," said Torres. 

Torres says her daughter was in the same room when Gooden made the decision to end his own life.

"He had already gotten shot and he had put a belt on [it], he thought he was going to bleed out," said Torres. "They said that he was scared and he did not want to die alone."

Torres says Gooden asked the children one final question, 'Do you want to come with me?'

Torres said that the children all responded, "No."

"Thank God that he didn't turn the gun and started killing them one by one," said Torres. 

Being the voice for her children, Torres went to court Tuesday and learned they could stay with her.

"I don't have to pay child support, that obligation is no longer needed," said Torres. "I guess I get full custody, sole custody of my children so basically everything I asked the courts before now I'm receiving it."

She believes lives could have been saved if things had been different.

"I have a whole bunch of questions for a few people in Ramsey County," said Torres. "It's frustrating because my kids did not have to lose their dad. He could have got mental help, they could have helped in a lot of ways and they didn't, you know three responders' lives could have been saved."

But for now, she mourns with the rest of the community and continues to be there for her kids.

"My oldest son, he is not expressing any emotions. He hasn't cried at all, he hasn't talked to anybody, his school social workers are trying to open him up," said Torres. 

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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