Family, friends of off-duty St. Paul firefighter killed in shooting plan services, investigators search for suspect

Updated: September 04, 2019 05:51 AM

Wednesday morning, firefighters in St. Paul are grieving the loss of an off-duty firefighter killed in a shooting on Labor Day.

Tom Harrigan, 36, was shot to death in his home on the city's east side.


Off-duty St. Paul firefighter identified as fatal shooting victim

As police search for the suspect, Harrigan's family, friends and fellow first responders are planning his funeral.

As of September, Harrigan had been with the St. Paul Fire Department for six months.

Harrigan's colleagues said he lived for helping others. Before becoming a firefighter, he served as a paramedic in the Minnesota National Guard. He was also an Army veteran who served oversees in Iraq.

"(He was) kind of quiet, funny," Capt. Jeramiah Melquist, with the St. Paul Fire Department, said. "A guy who loved his job; being a firefighter meant everything to him." 

Those in the department close to Harrigan now wear a black band across their badge to honor his service to St. Paul.

On Monday, Harrigan was off duty at home on Ivy Avenue when he was shot in the stomach.

First responders from his own department tried to save his life, but he later died at the hospital.

As they search for answers, investigators say they believe the gunman knew Harrigan somehow, but didn't comment on specifics.

"We are grieving, going through the emotions," Melquist said. "Our neighbors are sad. We lost a brother. So now we are waiting to see what the investigation reveals and waiting for the cops to do their job and hopefully find who did this."

Currently, police are interviewing Harrigan's roommates and others. 

The firefighter's union says even though his death was off duty, Harrigan will receive full honors at his funeral.

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