Local leaders, law enforcement agencies respond to shooting that killed 2 police officers and 1 EMS responder

Lawmakers and emergency response services are showing support for the first responders shot and killed Sunday morning in Burnsville.

Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and firefighter Adam Finseth died after a man who had barricaded himself inside a home with seven children opened fire in the midst of crisis negotiations.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz shared the following statement:

“We received horrific news from Burnsville this morning. While responding to a call of a family in danger, two police officers and one firefighter lost their lives, and other officers were injured.”

“We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our first responders make each and every day. Today, the families of these public servants received the call they knew was possible but hoped would never come. My heart is with those grieving families – the State of Minnesota stands ready to support in any way we can. This is a tragic loss for our state.”

“Our Department of Public Safety is coordinating with local law enforcement to conduct an investigation.”

Gov. Tim Walz

The governor also ordered flags at half-staff starting Monday at sunrise.

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan also shared a statement sharing her condolences.

“There are no words to describe a loss of this magnitude to our Burnsville and first responder community,”

“The tragedies that unfolded this morning are every family’s worst nightmare, yet our first responders stay selflessly committed to keeping Minnesotans safe every day. I am immensely grateful for the sacrifices and service of our police officers, firefighters, and medics, and my heart is heavy with grief for the three heroes we lost today.”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar also released a statement showing her support.

“I’m devastated that two Burnsville police officers and a first responder were killed in the line of duty. Our police officers and first responders put their lives on the line to keep all of us safe. We will never forget their sacrifice. My heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims and to the Burnsville community.” 

Congresswoman Angie Craig, who represents Burnsville, said she is coordinating with local and state officials “to offer any federal resources or support they need today and in the weeks and months ahead.”

“I’m horrified to see this kind of violence in our community,” Craig said. “Today serves as another solemn reminder that those who protect our communities do so at great personal risk. We must do everything in our power to prevent tragedies like these before they happen and hold violent criminals accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Several emergency agencies across Minnesota are also showing support for those killed.

Four Minnesota fire service organizations — the Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association, the Minnesota State Fire Department Association, Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters and Minnesota Fire Service — released a joint statement on Sunday’s events.

“Like the rest of the state, Minnesota’s fire service is heartbroken over this morning’s tragedy. We salute the Burnsville firefighter/paramedic and the two police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their community. Today has been a horrific reminder of the risks presented every day to all public safety personnel, and all of us in the fire service stand in solidarity with Burnsville Fire and Police Departments. Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the slain first responders and all our brothers and sisters in public safety.

“The Minnesota State Fire Service is reeling from the tragic loss of one Firefighter/Paramedic and two Police Officers from the City of Burnsville,” said Chief Eric Bullen, President of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and co-workers during this extremely difficult time. They are true heroes who selflessly served their community with courage and dedication. The loss of these brave individuals is a reminder of the risks that first responders face every day, across our state, to keep our communities safe. Their bravery, dedication, and selflessness will never be forgotten.”

Eric Bullen, Albertville fire chief and president of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association