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Twin Cities faith leaders hold vigil for slain Burnsville first responders

Faith leaders come together to honor Burnsville first responders
Faith leaders come together to honor Burnsville first responders 02:59

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Faith leaders from across the Twin Cities gathered Thursday evening to hold a vigil for three first responders killed in a standoff in Burnsville last weekend.

At least 11 churches participated in the vigil, which was held at 7 p.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville.

One by one people walked inside with heavy hearts — many just wanting to be in community after a senseless tragedy that took lives of three first responders

Zak Stanley rearranged his schedule to attend the vigil and be lifted in prayer.

"To be here to just be with other people that are kind of grieving at the same point right now, to share the love of Jesus to the world. I think the world needs more of it nowadays," Stanley said. 

Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, as well as firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth, were killed Sunday morning when Shannon Gooden opened fire during a standoff, according to authorities. Gooden died by suicide after the shooting, according to a medical examiner's report.

A search warrant filed Wednesday shows authorities were responding to the Burnsville home because of a sexual assault allegation.

In Burnsville, a memorial grows, and community members are showing up to offer their support.

"I just can't stay away, I have to honor them," said Robin Puttin from Richfield. "I can sit at home and I can pray and I can meditate, I can write letters. I think the most important thing is to get out and talk to people, encourage people to change the conversation and talk to each other.

Steve Wells, of Hosannah Lutheran Church was also at the memorial on Thursday.

"I think it really means something to the people that are going through this. I know it would to me," he said.

A joint public funeral for Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth is planned for Feb. 28 at Grace Church in Eden Prairie.   

Sgt. Adam Medlicott was also injured in the shooting. He has since been released from the hospital.   

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