BCA releases search warrant, new details in Burnsville domestic violence call

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

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Wednesday released new details about the fatal shooting of three first responders over the weekend in Burnsville.

Investigators say Shannon Gooden, 38, fired multiple weapons during the standoff early Sunday in which officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge were killed along with paramedic Adam Finseth.

According to a search warrant application, officers responded to the house on 33rd Avenue, in a subdivision near Interstate 35E and Highway 77, on a call about an alleged sexual assault. 

The warrant does not say who made the call or who was being assaulted. But after the incident, investigators said there were seven children ages 2 to 15 inside the home. All of the children survived.

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The warrant said the officers initially made contact with the person who called 911 as well as Gooden. At one point, “Gooden retreated into a bedroom and barricaded himself. Officers negotiated for Gooden to surrender, but he did not cooperate,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ger Vang wrote in the warrant.

Sometime later, Gooden opened fire at police with what investigators believe was multiple firearms. Two officers and the medic were fatally wounded. A fourth responder, a Burnsville police officer, was injured.

Burnsville Shooting Incident
Law enforcement officers make their way out of the Hennepin County Medical Center in Downtown Minneapolis following the Burnsville shooting on Sunday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Police returned fire, and Gooden retreated into a bedroom. The warrant said that with the help of a drone, a SWAT team found Gooden dead in the bedroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Gooden was prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm after being convicted of second-degree felony assault in 2008.  

In the warrant, Vang requested a judge’s permission to search a cellphone that belongs to Gooden’s ex-girlfriend Noemi Torres.

Torres and Gooden share three children, aged 12, 14 and 15, according to other court filings. They were among the seven children inside the house during the shootout, according to the warrant. 

Torres told Vang that she was in touch with Gooden several days prior to the incident, and the agent writes that text messages between the two might shed light on Gooden’s mindset. 

A man wears a Minnesota Twins hat
Shannon Gooden, who authorities say fatally shot two Burnsville officers and a paramedic before killing himself on Feb. 18, appears in a photo uploaded to his Facebook account on May 5, 2023.
Via Shannon Gooden's Facebook

Gooden has faced multiple allegations of violence against his romantic partners. In Minnesota, at least three women have filed requests for orders for protection from him.

Gooden was convicted in a 2005 disorderly conduct case stemming from a domestic violence call; more serious charges against him were dropped.

In a filing from 2017, a woman alleged that Gooden became physically abusive soon after their son was born. She said that Gooden head-butted her in the face and gave her a concussion and black eye and pushed her down stairs.

Torres filed a protection order request against Gooden in 2020. Torres alleged that Gooden told another woman to assault Torres while they were arranging to exchange their children.

In the decade they lived together, Torres said Gooden’s abuse was constant. He continually accused her of cheating and regularly hit her. She also said Gooden would get other family members to assault her.

Torres told KARE 11 that Gooden had made previous threats to shoot police. 

“Whenever he thought that I would call the cops, to throw fear in me, he’s like ‘I’m going to have a standoff. I’m going to kill everybody.’ It’s always been immortalized in this fantasy of how he’s going to go.”

A judge in a custody case later ordered that the children spend two-thirds of their time with Gooden.

A public memorial is planned for the first responders on Wednesday, February 28.