Burnsville gunman killed himself after shooting that killed 2 officers, 1 paramedic

A woman places items on the memorial.
A woman visits one of the three memorials outside the Burnsville Police Department and City Hall building on Tuesday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Updated: 2:30 p.m.

Authorities continue to investigate as people across Minnesota and beyond continue to mourn after Sunday’s shooting in Burnsville that left three first responders dead.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Monday confirmed the identity of the heavily armed man police encountered during the six-hour standoff as Shannon Cortez Gooden, 38.

A poster with three people on it
A poster honoring Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and Adam Finseth sits outside the Burnsville City Hall on Tuesday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Gooden also died in the incident. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner issued a report early Tuesday saying he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth, 40, were killed while responding to a call about a man barricaded in a home with seven children inside.

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Another officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, 38, was injured. The city of Burnsville reported Monday that he has been released from the hospital.

Court records show Gooden was ineligible to own firearms and tried unsuccessfully to regain his gun rights in 2020.

The house in Burnsville has boarded up windows.
The Burnsville house where the standoff took place has boarded-up windows on Tuesday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The Minnesota BCA is handling the investigation into Sunday’s shooting. The agency had not released any additional information as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Eric Bullen, president of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association and Albertville Fire Chief, spoke to MPR News about the toll that incidents like this have on first responders.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in violence against firefighters and EMS personnel over the last few years,” Bullen said. Hearing the news on Sunday morning “felt kind of like a gut punch.”

Firefighters and emergency responders already face a number of dangers in their careers, including increased risk of cancer, cardiac and emotional issues, Bullen said. “And then you add in the level of all the violence, especially in the paid on call and volunteer fire departments across the state that aren't doing this for a career, they’re doing it purely to help out their community.”

Community members continued to gather at a memorial outside Burnsville City Hall on Monday, placing flowers and cards on two Burnsville police squads and a fire-paramedic vehicle.

Mary Schrader was among those who visited to show support for the first responders’ loved ones.

“I just hope the families know how much we appreciate them and keep them in our prayers,” she said. “Because they they have to know that their sacrifice did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. And their kids need to know that their dads are heroes.”

Schrader visited with Beth Bouman.

“It’s really emotional being here,” she said. “But we need to show our respect and let the community know that we will be united in honoring what they have done.”

There was a procession through the south Twin Cities metro late Monday afternoon as Finseth’s body was transported from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office to a funeral home in Jordan.

A similar procession took place Tuesday afternoon for Elmstrand and Ruge.

The City of Burnsville announced Tuesday morning that contributions to support the families of the three fallen emergency responders should be directed to the Law Enforcement Labor Services Benevolent Fund.

“This is the only contribution site we have verified on behalf of the families,” the city posted on its website. “Please be aware of scam fundraisers seeking to exploit this tragedy.”

Memorial and funeral services for Finseth, Elmstrand and Ruge are pending.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a crisis, call or text 988, Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or text MN to 741741. If you or a loved one is at imminent risk, please contact 911 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team officer.

MPR News reporters Cari Spencer, Ellie Roth and Anika Besst contributed to this report.

Correction: (Feb. 20. 2024) An earlier version of the story had the incorrect date in the captions of some photos. The article has been updated.