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Metro churches support those grieving first responders killed in Burnsville shooting

Metro churches support those grieving fallen first responders
Metro churches support those grieving fallen first responders 02:33

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Churches in Burnsville and beyond banded together to help support the community grieving the fallen first responders. In a few days, thousands will have the chance to pay their respects.

Stacy Jadin comes from a long line of first responders and brought her sons from Prior Lake so they could all pay their respects.

"For us, this just really hits close to home and I think it's important for them to understand what was lost here a week ago," Jadin said.

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The memorials to officers Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth have been a source of comfort for Burnsville's first responder family.

"We are finding hope here. In our own ways and in our own times, we come here to feel connected to Matt and Adam and Paul. We pray here and we cry and we embrace."

Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz says the public support has been overwhelming.

"We want you to know that your presence at the vigils, your messages of sympathy, your acts of kindness have touched the hearts of every member of our police and fire department and our hero families," Schwartz said.

Thousands of first responders are expected at Grace Church in Eden Prairie Wednesday morning for a public memorial service. Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville will stream the ceremony and is also along the procession route that will come after.

"There are so many elements that make this an unprecedented event. So much of this memorial service will be like nothing Minnesota has ever seen," said Howie Padilla with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The power of the community's love has shown itself in vigils and services all week, including a community-wide prayer in Burnsville Monday night.

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"When we lose one of our own, it impacts us," former police officer Brian Gonzalez said. "God has a heart for his warrior servants." 

Jadin and her kids won't be the last to lay flowers because the people in Minnesota won't forget these three men.

"Burnsville has shown itself to be a community bound by compassion, resilience and a shared commitment to supporting one another," Burnsville Fire Chief B.J. Jungmann said.

City officials say streets around Grace Church in Eden Prairie will close from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesday. After the service, a procession will go from Grace Church through the city of Burnsville. Click here to view a map of the procession's route.

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