2 officers, 1 first responder killed at the scene of a domestic call in Minnesota; suspect dead


BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed early Sunday and a third officer was injured at a suburban Minneapolis home in an exchange of gunfire while responding to a call involving an armed man who had barricaded himself inside with family, including seven children. The 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.

City officials said in a news release that it started as a report of a domestic situation. “After arriving, the situation escalated into gunfire with responders,” the statement said, adding that the officers and first responder “were killed by the gunman during the response.”

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association said negotiations with the suspect went on for four hours before a SWAT team entered the home. Seven children were inside the house, but the city said the family was able to leave the home safely.

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.

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.

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,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. "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 a 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.

The State’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release that it was asked to investigate the shooting. 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 south of downtown Minneapolis.