Woman indicted for straw purchasing guns used in Burnsville shooting of first responders

Woman federally indicted for buying guns used in Burnsville shooting of first responders

Woman federally indicted for buying guns used in Burnsville shooting of first responders

A Burnsville woman is facing criminal charges for providing guns to the man who police say gunned down three first responders last month in Burnsville.

Ashley Anne Dyrdahl, 35, is federally indicted on five charges of straw purchasing, five counts of making false statements during a gun purchase and one count of conspiracy.

Local, state and federal authorities announced the development Thursday.

The three first responders killed in Burnsville on Feb. 18, 2024.

It comes two days after 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported that the mother of three of the children who were inside the home at the time of the shooting says she was subpoenaed and testified in front of a federal grand jury.

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Late last month, the owner of a Burnsville gun retailer also confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that a gun part found at Shannon Gooden’s home was straw purchased and traced to his store.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, because Gooden couldn’t legally have guns due to his prior convictions, Dyrdahl worked with Gooden, whom she was in a relationship with, to help him get weapons.

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Prosecutors say Gooden would text Dyrdahl the guns he wanted her to buy and she then placed the orders, filled out the forms and told him, “We just gotta make sure we’re smart about all this ya know?”

Among the guns she allegedly bought and gave to Gooden were three semiautomatic AR-15-style gun lower-receivers, including one with a binary trigger and a heavier load ammunition for increased damage.

Ashley Anne Dyrdahl covers her face as she drives away following her first court appearance at the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn. on Thursday, March 14, 2024. Federal authorities say Dyrdahl has been charged with illegally buying guns used in the killings of three first responders in a standoff at a home in Burnsville. (John Autey/Pioneer Press)

The attorney’s office says two of those AR-style rifles were used in the shooting that killed officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand, firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth and hurt Sgt. Adam Medlicott on Feb. 18. Authorities say he fired more than 100 rounds from the guns during the incident, and investigators later found a stockpile of guns with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

“Dyrdahl intentionally and repeatedly obtained powerful and dangerous firearms and put them in the hands of a violent, convicted felon. As a result of Dyrdahl’s criminal actions, the families and friends of these men and their agencies and out entire community will mourn their loss forever,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said.

“I believe our partners would be alive today if this woman would not have bought these guns and given them to the murderer who shot our partners on Feb. 18. I’m encouraged that there will be accountability for this tragedy,” Burnsville Fire Chief BJ Jungmann said.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Superintendent Drew Evans noted the rise in assaults on police officers in Minnesota, saying 18 officers and one firefighter/paramedic have been shot in the state since the start of 2023. Four of those first responders have been killed.

“Ashley Dyrdahl didn’t shoot anybody, make no mistake … but Ashley Dyrdahl handed him the guns and for this she must be held accountable,” Evans said.

Burnsville’s police chief also spoke on the assaults on first responders, saying it has to change.

“The blatant disrespect and assaults on police officers and all public safety has got to end. The women and men across the country who honor their oath and they put their lives on the line to serve and protect, they deserve respect and they deserve support every day, every day, not just when a tragedy strikes, not just when it’s convenient, not just when there’s a personal purpose there,” Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said.

The chiefs also released a written statement on Friday.

Dyrdahl made her first court appearance Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.