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"Our hearts are broken": Community gathers for a meal and vigil in Burnsville

Burnsville community gathers for vigil, meal to honor fallen first responders
Burnsville community gathers for vigil, meal to honor fallen first responders 02:46

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — A crowd gathered outside the Burnsville police department Tuesday evening to let their emotions flow and honor the men they lost.

Hope Breakfast Bar served up a community meal for first responders and the grieving community. 

"How amazing is it when people come together over food?" Purpose Resturant Owner Brian Ingram said.

The resturant's Eagan location is donating all of their sales Tuesday to the family of the fallen first responders. Ingram said they raised over $20,000, well above their average on Tuesday when they would have made a couple thousand. 

"That's more important than the financial contribution. It's just making sure they know they're loved and we care about them," Ingram said.

Prior Lake resident Dan Sjolseth stopped by the community meal to drop off a donation in-person. He offered well wishes to the families. 

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

"It's so hard to even imagine so just know that for me and my family, we're praying for you, we want to support and hopefully our prayers are all answered, and it brings you comfort and peace," Sjolseth said.

Those prayers were echoed during an evening vigil outside city hall as elected leaders from as far as Washington D.C. offered their support. 

"Our hearts are broken," Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said.

"The state mourns with you and the nation mourns with you," Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. 

Officer Mark Hetherington, who has been with the Burnsville Police Department for more than two decades also spoke to the crowd. 

"This business of police and policing across this country to protect a free society isn't getting any easier," he said.

Officer Hetherington thanked the community, and said the department feels their love and support. 

The nonprofit the Minnesota 100 club will be donating $50,000 to each of the families of the fallen first responders. Another nonprofit donated $20,000 to each family Monday. 

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