Two police officers, one paramedic killed in Minnesota shooting, officials say

A man barricaded in his home outside Minneapolis with his seven children and other family members opened fire early Sunday while trying to negotiate with law enforcement officials, killing two police officers and a paramedic, authorities said.

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. in the town of Burnsville, about 16 miles south of Minneapolis.

Police received a call from a resident of the home about an armed man barricaded with family members, including children, ages 2 to 15, ​Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

He spoke at an emotional news conference Sunday night during which community leaders fought back tears as they described the day as one of the toughest Burnsville, a town of about 64,000, has ever experienced.

Officers tried to negotiate with the man for “quite a while,” but he opened fire, Superintendent Evans said.

Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and a firefighter-paramedic assigned to the SWAT team, Adam Finseth, 40, were killed, authorities said. Another officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was injured and taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The gunman had “several weapons and large amounts of ammunition and fired at officers from multiple positions in the home,” Superintendent Evans said.

Several officers returned fire, he added, but the exact details of the exchange of fire remain under investigation.

The gunman, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead around 8 a.m. The children and other family members were able to escape, Superintendent Evans said. He noted that there were “not many calls for service at all” to the residence.

Burnsville Fire Chief BJ Jungmann said Sunday was “the hardest day the city of Burnsville and our public safety family has ever experienced.”

He added: “Our people come to work every day and are prepared to give up the biggest sacrifice of their lives, but nobody expects that to happen.”

Officer Elmstrand joined the Burnsville Police Department in August 2017 as a community service officer and was promoted to officer in July 2019. Officer Ruge joined the department in April 2020 and was part of its crisis negotiation team and was a physical evidence. Mr. Finset had been a firefighter-paramedic since February 2019, the city said.

Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that her agents from St were responding to what he described as a “domestic shooting.”

Alicia McCullum, who moved into the neighborhood in March, lives two houses down from where the shooting happened.

“We woke up and heard gunshots,” she said. “We heard one shot. Our son immediately walked into our room, looked out the window and heard three more.”

“We prayed with our neighbors on the phone,” she added. “We pray because we know there are seven children in that house.”

Cara Schulz, City Council member and Acting Mayor of Burnsville, said, “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the two police officers and one firefighter paramedic who died in the line of duty and our thoughts are with our officer who was injured.”

On Facebook, The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association stated, “our law enforcement community heartbroken.”

“We are just heartbroken by the terrible loss,” it said.

Bernard Mokham contributed to the reporting.

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