Shooting Leads To Death of Officers, Paramedic

Shooting Leads To Death of Officers, Paramedic

( – Two police officers and a paramedic died during a hostage situation in Burnsville, Minnesota, on the morning of February 18. Police arrived at a home on 33rd Avenue South at 1.30 am to find 38-year-old Shannon Gooden barricaded inside with seven children aged from 2 to 15 years old.

Superintendent Drew Evans with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said officers negotiated with Gooden, but after some time, the suspect opened fire and killed Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, as well as paramedic Adam Finseth. Gooden is reported to have taken his own life.

Media reports suggest that the children were Gooden’s own and that the children’s mother made the initial call to the police. He also had a string of previous convictions. His prior convictions include disorderly conduct offenses in 2004 and 2005 and a second-degree assault count in 2007, which resulted in a ban on firearms ownership.

CBS News reported that in 2020, he petitioned the courts to restore his gun rights, arguing that he had “taken significant steps” to be a “productive and law-abiding citizen,” but the courts denied the petition.

According to a different CBS News report, Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said her department was “hurting” following the death of their colleagues, whom she described as “heroes” who had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their community.

Hundreds of local people lined the streets to pay tribute to the officers and paramedic, as their caskets, draped in American flags, were transported from a hospital. A vigil was later held outside Burnsville Town Hall. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz paid tribute to the public servants in a statement and said, “The State of Minnesota stands ready to support in any way we can.”

Paul Elmstrand, who was 27, joined the police in 2017 and was married with two children. Ruge, also 27, joined the force in 2020, and 40-year-old Finseth had been a firefighter and paramedic since 2019.

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