BCA: Man fired ‘without warning’ as Burnsville cops tried to get him to surrender

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

Police officers inside a Burnsville house early Sunday tried for more than three hours to get Shannon Gooden to peacefully surrender before he opened fire on them “without warning,” state investigators said Thursday.

Gooden eventually fired more than 100 rifle rounds at law enforcement and first responders, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Thursday afternoon, adding that there is body camera and squad car camera video of the incident.

Gooden killed officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand and firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth. They had responded to a call for help from someone in the house just before 2 a.m. Seven children, ages 2 to 15, were in the house.

When police arrived, they spoke with Gooden, 38, who refused to leave the home but said he was unarmed and had children inside, the BCA said. A previously released warrant application said Gooden at one point “retreated into a bedroom and barricaded himself.”

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Burnsville officers and firefighters
Burnsville Officer Paul Elmstrand, Firefighter Adam Finseth, and Officer Matthew Ruge were fatally shot when responding to a domestic situation in Burnsville early Sunday morning.
Courtesy of the City of Burnsville

According to the BCA account, at about 5:26 a.m., Gooden opened fire on the officers inside the home without warning. Ruge, Elmstrand and Burnsville Sgt. Adam Medlicott are believed to have been initially shot inside the home.

“Medlicott and officer Daniel Wical returned fire while inside the home, striking Gooden in the leg. Both Ruge and Medlicott were shot a second time as officers were moving from the home to an armored vehicle in the driveway. That’s when Finseth was shot while trying to aid the officers,” the BCA said.

Elmstrand, Ruge, both age 27, and Finseth, 40, were all later pronounced dead at HCMC.

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 continued to fire on officers outside the house and at an armored vehicle with people inside. Officer Javier Jimenez returned fire with a sniper rifle as Gooden shot from an upstairs window, investigators said.

The standoff ended when Gooden killed himself; a SWAT team found his body as they cleared the house at 10:15 a.m. Authorities said the children were able to safely leave the house after the incident.

Investigators said they recovered several firearms and a “large amount of ammunition” at the scene.

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

Alleged sexual assault

According to the previously released 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. A public memorial is planned for the first responders on Wednesday, February 28.

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