Court records: Burnsville shooting suspect was ’emotionally,’ ‘physically abusive’ to mothers of his children

Court records reveal Burnsville suspect’s violent past

Court records reveal Burnsville suspect's violent past

Two orders for protection filed against the man accused of fatally shooting three first responders and injuring a fourth in Burnsville on Sunday detail a pattern of abuse, according to two mothers of his children.

The first was a handwritten petition for an order for protection against Shannon Gooden in 2017.

In it, the woman requested protection from Gooden for herself and their shared child after an incident where she said he “head-butted {her} face,” causing a concussion and black eye before. She also said he threw her down the stairs.

She went on to write that Gooden had been “emotionally and physically abusive from the very beginning” and that police were called during their fights “a few times.”

Then in 2020, Noemi Torres — another mother of three kids shared with Gooden — also said that he caused her to fall down the stairs by side-swiping her foot after an argument during which she said he also “grabbed a knife and cut my clothes.”

She wrote, “I am and have been very afraid of him for a long time.”

That petition was ultimately dismissed, the judge citing a lack of proof.

Ex-girlfriend of Burnsville shooter speaks out on suspect’s history of abuse

Ex-girlfriend of Burnsville shooter speaks out on suspect's history of abuse

Three and a half years later, Torres told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that her kids were in that Burnsville home when investigators say their dad shot and killed three first responders before taking his own life.

“I feel like all of this could’ve been avoided,” she said. “Just the negligence in the court system, they failed my children.”

Torres also added: “They’re not good. At all. You know, my daughter is constantly thinking about that moment in time that she is forever gonna have in her life. The way she was telling me she was sitting on the bed, you know, she walked over his body, after he took his life, and she just balled crying.”

“My kids feel for the families of the lost victims as well, you know. I think we’re all just in mourning right now,” said Torres.

The 2017 petition was also dismissed when the petitioner didn’t show up in court.

A couple of years later, the woman in that case actually wrote a letter in support of Gooden when he petitioned to get his gun rights back in 2020. The judge ultimately found her allegations of abuse important enough to cite them when he denied Gooden’s petition, upholding the lifetime ban against him from owning a gun.

That ban against Gooden dates back to a 2007 assault conviction.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also obtained that criminal complaint in which a verbal argument with male family members of a woman who suspected Gooden was behind “harassing phone calls…made to her cellphone” culminated in Gooden and one of the other men “squaring off to fight.” That’s when the investigator said, Gooden pulled what witnesses described as a 7-inch knife out of his pocket and threatened to stab the other man.

The complaint also said Gooden threw rocks at the family’s car as they drove away, breaking the rear-view window, before he fled the scene.

Under state law, that lifetime ban exists as a public protection against people convicted of crimes which are, according to lawmakers, “indications of future dangerousness.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, several resources are available to offer help. For immediate help, contact:

More than 12 million people just in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence every year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The organizations listed above can help connect victims to resources like safe shelter, advocacy, legal help and support groups.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers tips for identifying abuse and supporting victims of abuse. CLICK HERE to see those.

Other organizations that can help include:

Minnesota also has a list of many other resources for victims of crimes that can be found HERE.