2 Officers and First Responder Killed In Line of Duty

(StraightNews.org) – Two police officers and a firefighter died during a shootout in Minnesota on the morning of February 18. Burnsville police department officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge responded to a call and found that an armed man had barricaded himself, seven children, and their mother inside a home.

The call came from the children’s mother, who was trapped inside with her children – aged between 2 and 15 years. Superintendent Drew Evans with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said police negotiated with gunman Shannon Gooden, but he opened fire after “quite a bit of time” and killed the officers as well as firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth. SWAT team members then entered the house and shot Gooden, who died at the scene.

The suspect had a lengthy criminal history and had previously posted videos of himself firing rifles on social media. His rap sheet includes disorderly conduct convictions in 2004 and 2005 and a second-degree assault charge in 2007, which resulted in the loss of his firearm rights.

In 2020, the courts denied his petition for gun rights restoration after he argued that he had taken significant steps” to be a “productive and law-abiding citizen.”

Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said her department was “hurting” and described her colleagues as “heroes” who had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their community. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz paid tribute to the officers online and said, “The State of Minnesota stands ready to support in any way we can.”

Local people lined the streets while the bodies were removed from the hospital in coffins draped in American flags and organized a vigil of remembrance outside Burnsville Town Hall.

Paul Elmstrand, who was just 27 years old and was married with two young children, joined Burnsville police in 2017. His fellow officer Matthew Ruge, also 27, joined the force in 2020, and 40-year-old Finseth had been a firefighter and paramedic since 2019. Another officer, Adam Medlicott, was injured but is expected to recover fully.

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