2 Officers,1 Firefighter Killed While Responding To A Domestic Violence Call In Minnesota

A police vehicle with what appears to be bullet pockmarks on its windshield is parked near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Burnsville, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
A police vehicle with what appears to be bullet pockmarks on its windshield is parked near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Burnsville, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:35 PM – Monday, February 19, 2024

According to Minnesota law enforcement, two police officers and a firefighter were shot and killed in Burnsville, Minnesota, over the weekend.


On Sunday morning at approximately 1:50 a.m., two police officers and one first responder were shot and killed while following up on a domestic abuse report in a Minneapolis suburb, according to a law enforcement association. Officials responded to a home in Burnsville, a town located about 15 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, where a man was allegedly armed and barricaded inside with family members.

Neighbors and several law enforcement sources have verified the identity of the suspect. Shannon Cortez Gooden, 38, shot himself after killing the two officers and firefighter.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which represents public safety professionals in the state, confirmed the deaths of the first responder and the two Burnsville police officers. The three victims are officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27-years-old, and 40-year-old firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth.

According to Drew Evans, the superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Gooden is now deceased and possessed “several guns and a large amount of ammunition.”

Gooden was found guilty in 2008 of a 2nd-degree felony assault with a deadly weapon, which prohibited him from owning firearms, per court records. In 2019, eleven years after the incident, Gooden filed a court petition to regain his right to bear arms. In an affidavit, Gooden stated, “I would like to be able to protect not only myself but my family as well. I completed an anger management course as well as a parenting course.”

However, First District Court Judge Dannia Edwards rejected the request in October 2020, according to court records.

There were seven minors who were inside the house at the time of the shooting, ages two to 15-years-old, who managed to escape and are now safe.

Brian Peters, executive director of the association that portrays public safety professionals in Minnesota, made a statement regarding the tragedy.

“We are heartbroken. Our law enforcement community is heartbroken. We’re just devastated at the horrific loss,” said Peters. “These heroes leave behind loved ones and a community who will forever remember their bravery and dedication to keeping Minnesotans safe.”

The bullet damage on the windshield of a police armored car that was parked nearby appeared to be the result of the incident. However, this has not been confirmed.

According to a Facebook post by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D-Minn.), along with the individuals that were killed, additional officers were injured as a result of the incident.

“We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our police officers and first responders make every day,” Walz declared. “My heart is with their families today and the entire State of Minnesota stands with Burnsville.”

This was an “active scene,” according to the Burnsville Police Department, however, they withheld any further details. Police have reportedly been gathered in the Burnsville neighborhood since early Sunday morning.

On social media, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that it was dispatched to a Burnsville location “where reports of officers involved in a domestic-related shooting” surfaced.

Regarding the events leading up to the shooting, no additional information was immediately made public. Following the occurrence, SWAT cars, police cars, fire engines, and ambulances lined the street.

Immediately after, additional law enforcement agencies began sharing condolence messages on social media platforms, along with pictures of badges. This is a symbol of grief shared by all service personnel.

In a statement, Jim Mortenson, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s executive director, said that “thoughts and prayers are with the family of the officers and first responder” who responded.

“These officers were struck down while answering the call of duty to serve and protect. We mourn alongside the Burnsville community and the families of those killed,” the statement said.

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