Fundraisers set up to help families of slain Burnsville first responders

Community support for fallen first responders in Burnsville

Community support for fallen first responders in Burnsville

An official fundraiser is now set up to help the families of the three first responders who were killed Sunday in Burnsville.

The city announced that donations can be made to Law Enforcement Labor Services here — donors should write “Burnsville Heroes” in the comments — to directly benefit the families of Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and Adam Finseth. Non-monetary contributions can be brought to Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville.

In announcing the fundraiser, the city said the outpouring of support and contributions has been “deeply appreciated.”

City officials also noted that this is the only fundraiser the city has verified on behalf of the families and urged the public to watch for scammers trying to take advantage of the tragedy.

The three were killed in what started as a domestic incident near 33rd Avenue and East Burnsville Parkway early Sunday morning. A fourth first responder, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was hospitalized but the city says Medlicott was released from the hospital on Monday and is now recovering at home.

The man who authorities say shot the first responders died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the medical examiner. He’s been identified as 38-year-old Shannon Gooden.

Dozens of Minnesotans came out to show support and pay respects to the first responders on Monday, many dropping off flowers and signs, and some also dropping off food for the departments.

“They need love poured back into them because so much was taken from them,” Georgia McClanahan said.

The Front Line Foundation announced Monday that it is giving a total of $60,000 in death benefits to the Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth families, and The MN 100 Club says it has approved financial contributions of $50,000 to each of the families.

Hope Breakfast Bar donates proceeds to support fallen Burnsville first responders

Hope Breakfast Bar donates proceeds to support fallen Burnsville first responders

Hope Breakfast Bar in Eagan launched a Tuesday fundraiser to help the families of the three fallen Burnsville first responders.

“I’m here to support the policemen and firefighters who lost their lives doing their duty,” John Falvey, Hope Breakfast Bar patron, said.

If it’s for one minute or one hour, customers at the Eagan restaurant were prepared to wait.

“It’s because it’s a good cause,” Shayne Barnes, Hope Breakfast Bar patron, said.

At Hope Breakfast Bar, people lined up to get a seat from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday because all proceeds will go straight to the families of the three Burnsville fallen first responders.

The effort was launched by founder Brian Ingram.

“It’s been nonstop. Guests have been coming in, walking in, reservations, and donations,” Kevin Kelly, Hope Breakfast Bar Eagan general manager, said. “People just dropping money off for the families of our heroes.”

Kelly said the crew is doing their best to keep up the momentum, but sometimes reality sets back in.

“It’s been very emotional,” Kelly said “A lot of first responders came in to dine.”

“It’s just devastating. We have friends and family that are first responders and I just feel terrible for their families,” Alicia Czech, Hope Breakfast Bar patron, said. “Just heartbreaking.”

Some customers saw the news about the restaurant fundraiser online and immediately made the trip

“People waiting for hours to just help support our communities does give you a sense of hope,” Czech said.

Hope is at the heart of what they do.

“It gives me great hope and pleasure that they were out here supporting the firefighters and cops, but it’s just a sad tragedy that happened,” Falvey said.

Kelly explained several other Hope Breakfast Bar locations collected money to donate outside of Eagan. He estimated they might have raised at least $25,000.