Burnsville officer Paul Elmstrand remembered at ceremony

Fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand was honored by his hometown Sunday night, a week after he was killed in the line of duty.

The community gathered at Cambridge-Isanti High School where Elmstrand’s sister and several friends shared memories and prayers.

"What struck me most about Paul was his absolute love and enthusiasm for life," said family friend Paul Maurer. "It's no surprise with how much he loved life that he would answer the call to protect life, to stand up as the first line of justice, and protect the rest of our lives."

One of Elmstrand’s sisters also spoke Sunday, marking the first time his family has spoken publicly. 

The 27-year-old was the youngest sibling by eight years, his parents lovingly referring to him as their "bonus" child. 

Mary Elmstrand described her little brother as kind, selfless, and funny. She said he was a devoted public servant and a fantastic father. 

"From the first moment Paul was smitten," she said. "They can be confident that their father deeply loved them."

A recurring theme of the event was Elmstrand deep devotion to his Christian faith. Family and friends say it was at the center of everything he did.