Burnsville police officers, firefighter-paramedic killed: Remembering Officer Paul Elmstrand

Those who knew fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand are remembering the 27-year-old who was among the three first responders shot and killed Sunday morning.

Elmstrand was a graduate of the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, where he earned a degree in criminal justice in 2018.

"We are all just shattered by this news," said Elmstrand’s former professor, Melissa Mork. "It again reminds us how precious and important our law enforcement officers are."

Elmstrand’s wife, Cindy Elmstrand-Castruita, said in a statement Monday, "He was the most generous, loving, patient person I've ever known with the biggest smile… He had a servant’s heart and would drop everything to help someone who was in need."

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Mork said Elmstrand worked for campus security during his time there and considered law enforcement less of a job and more of a vocation.

"I could tell that he thought it was a calling because he was so diligent in meeting all the requirements and doing all the right things to become a law enforcement officer," said Mork. "It was so clear this is who he was at his core."

Along with his wife, Elmstrand leaves behind two children, a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old.

"He loved his job as a police officer and had a strong bond with those he worked with, but he always placed his family first," said Elmstrand-Castruita.

Friends of Elmstrand also tell FOX 9 he graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School in North Branch.


Burnsville police officers, firefighter-paramedic killed: What we know so far

The latest updates, reports and videos on the shooting in Burnsville, Minnesota that killed two police officers and a firefighter-paramedic. Tributes to the first responders and suspect information.