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2 police officers and 1 firefighter killed responding to a domestic incident outside Minneapolis

Posted at 12:52 AM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 00:52:17-05

Two police officers and a firefighter were fatally shot and another officer was injured after responding to a domestic incident early Sunday morning in Burnsville, Minnesota, according to local authorities.

The incident began around 1:50 a.m. CT, when Burnsville police were called to a home where a man was reported to be armed and barricaded inside with family members, city officials said in a news release.

“After arriving, the situation escalated into gunfire with responders,” the city said in the release.

Three men were fatally shot, while another officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was injured and taken to a hospital. He is believed to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the city said.

Burnsville city officials identified the three victims Sunday afternoon as officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth, 40. The suspect, who has not been identified, was also killed, according to the news release.

The other family members were able to leave the home and are safe, officials said. A total of 7 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were in the home, Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said during a news conference Sunday. He said the 911 call came from someone in the home.

The unidentified man had “several guns and a large amount of ammunition,” when he shot at police “from multiple positions in the home,” Evans said. Multiple firearms were recovered from the residence, he added.

Body camera footage from the officers will be reviewed and the medical examiner will identify the suspect, Evans said. Autopsies are scheduled for Monday.

The city said although there is no active threat in the area, residents are asked to stay away while the incident is being investigated.

“Minnesota mourns with you,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said during the news conference.

Walz expressed his support for the families of the victims in a post online.

“We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our police officers and first responders make every day. My heart is with their families today and the entire State of Minnesota stands with Burnsville,” Walz said. The governor added flags would be flown at half-staff across Minnesota on Monday and the state Department of Public Safety is “coordinating with local law enforcement to conduct an investigation.”

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene after reports of local police officers involved in a “domestic-related shooting,” the agency said earlier.

Burnsville is approximately 15 miles south of Minneapolis.

An official with a labor union representing Minnesota law enforcement and first responders also expressed his support for the families of the victims.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the officers and first responder who responded to a domestic call this morning,” Jim Mortenson, executive director of the Law Enforcement Labor Services union, told CNN.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her husband are praying for the officers, she said in a statement.

“They were doing their jobs. They were protecting our community. John and I are praying for them and their families and the Burnsville P.D. this morning,” Klobuchar said.

Elmstrand joined the police department in 2017 as a community service officer and was promoted to officer in 2019, officials said. “He was promoted to Officer in July 2019. He was part of the department’s mobile command staff, peer team, Honor Guard and field training unit,” the city detailed in the release.

Ruge joined the agency in 2020. He was part of the department’s crisis negotiations team and was also a physical evidence officer, officials said.

Finseth had been a firefighter/paramedic for the city since 2019.