Minnesotans show support, pay respects after 3 first responders killed in Burnsville; injured officer back home

Community support for fallen first responders

Community support for fallen first responders

A day after a confrontation in Burnsville left three first responders and a suspect dead, Minnesotans are paying their respects and trying to uplift the heartbroken community.

Dozens of people stopped by the Burnsville Police Department with flowers and donations on Monday morning. More than 100 people attended a vigil Sunday night for the three fallen first responders — Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and Burnsville firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth.

People who stopped by Burnsville Fire Station 1 to drop off flowers and food want firefighters to know they’re thinking of them during this difficult time.

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

“They do a lot for us, this is something we can do for them,” Kevin Swecker said.

Burnsville firefighters say they can’t thank the community enough for their love and support during this tremendous loss.

Another officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was hospitalized with injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening. The city said Monday afternoon that Medlicott had been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

The suspect was identified Monday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as Shannon Gooden.

According to police and city officials, authorities were called to the area of 33rd Avenue and East Burnsville Parkway after a man reportedly barricaded himself in a home with family members shortly before 2 a.m. At some point, shots were fired, and a shelter-in-place order was put into effect. That order was lifted at about 10:30 a.m.

The city says Elmstrand, 27, joined Burnsville Police in August 2017 as a community service officer before becoming a police officer in 2019. Ruge, also 27, joined the force in April 2020 and was part of the crisis negotiation team. Finseth, 40, joined the Burnsville Fire Department in 2019 and was at the scene to support a SWAT team.

Minnesotans rush to show support, pay respects after 3 first responders killed in Burnsville

Minnesotans rush to show support, pay respects after 3 first responders killed in Burnsville

“We’re going to grow from this and take care of each other and help everyone who sees this,” Burnsville resident Dan McElroy said Sunday night. “When they see a police officer, they’re going to say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ And a paramedic or firefighter, they’ll say, ‘Thank you for your service.'”

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

Memorials outside Burnsville City Hall have continued to grow as people have come to pay their respects, many dropping off flowers or signs of support on top of the ambulance and police squad parked outside in front of the building.

All flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff across the state in honor of Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth, per an order from Gov. Tim Walz. Additionally, the legislature postponed a committee hearing scheduled for Monday in the state senate on school resource officers, out of respect for those impacted by Sunday’s shooting, according to a news release.

The city is expected to provide details on ways for the community to help the families of the fallen first responders later this week. 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.

From left to right: Officer Paul Elmstrand, Firefighter Adam Finseth and Officer Matthew Ruge (City of Burnsville)