2 officers, 1 first responder shot and killed at the scene of a domestic call in Minnesota

Feb 18, 2024



BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A desperate call for help from a home in suburban Minneapolis early Sunday turned deadly for two police officers and a first responder who were shot and killed, according to officials. A suspect in the shooting also died, officials said.

The shootings took place in a suburban neighborhood in Burnsville, Minnesota, which was ringed with police cars that kept the press and public away from the scene where the shootings took place. The deaths of the two Burnsville police officers and the first responder were confirmed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

The association also said negotiations with a suspect went on for four hours before a SWAT team entered the home in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville. Seven children were inside the home. It wasn’t immediately known if any of the children were harmed.

Details on how the suspect died were not immediately released.

City officials identified the slain officers as Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27. Adam Finseth, 40, a firefighter and paramedic, also was killed. Another police officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was injured and being treated at a hospital with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, the city said.

“We are heartbroken. Our law enforcement community is heartbroken. We’re just devastated at the horrific loss,” Brian Peters, executive director of MPPOA, which represents public safety professionals in the state, said in a statement.

The shooting happened in a tree-lined neighborhood with two-story homes. A police armored vehicle parked nearby had bullet damage to its windshield, but there was no confirmation on whether that was the result of the incident. The street was lined with police cars, firefighters and ambulances.

Burnsville police, fire and city officials, including the mayor, didn’t immediately return phone or email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

A police officer walks across a road after two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Burnsville, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

A police officer walks across a road after two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Burnsville, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Police scanner recordings on Broadcastify.com capture a rattled man saying, “I need any ambulance,” as he struggled to catch his breath. Someone later could be heard talking about three being loaded into ambulances, uttering the word “critical.”

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

Other law enforcement agencies immediately began posting messages of condolence on social media, including images of badges with blue bars through them. It is a mark of solidarity in mourning.

As the bodies of the dead left the hospital, officers saluted, before they were taken in a convoy to the medical examiner’s office. Medical staff watched in scrubs.

The Law Enforcement Labor Services represents rank-and-file officers and the supervisors of the Burnsville Police Department.

The organization’s executive director, Jim Mortenson, said in a statement 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.

The State’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release that it was asked to investigate the shooting and added the inquiry was in the early stages. It said it would provide more information later. The statewide agency provides investigative and other services to help solve crimes, often to back up smaller law enforcement agencies that lack sufficient resources.

In neighboring Goodhue County, Sheriff Marty Kelly wrote that it was closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds.

“In times like these,” Kelly said, “it is essential to come together as a community and support one another through the uncertainty and grief.”

Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota said in a statement that she had been in touch with the mayor, police chief and state officials to offer any federal resources needed.

“Today,” she said, “serves as another solemn reminder that those who protect our communities do so at great personal risk.”

Burnsville, a city of around 64,000, is located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of downtown Minneapolis.

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