Burnsville first responders killed: Officers, firefighter-paramedic identified

Burnsville officers Paul Elmstrand (left) and Matthew Ruge (right) with firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth (center) (Supplied)

The City of Burnsville has released the identities of the police officers and firefighter-paramedic killed in a shooting Sunday morning.

The city says the shooting began as a 911 call for a domestic situation along 33rd Avenue South at East Burnsville Parkway around 1:50 a.m. Officials say the suspect was reportedly barricaded inside the home and when officers arrived, the situation escalated with shots being fired.

The city says the gunman killed police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth. A third police officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was injured by gunfire. Sgt. Medlicott is being treated at a hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.

Who were the first responders?

Officer Elmstrand, 27, joined the Burnsville Police Department in August 2017 as a community service officer before being promoted to a full officer in 2019. He is also a member of the department's mobile command staff, peer team, Honor Guard, and field training unit. He was a 2018 graduate of the University of Northwestern. A post from the university's alumni office reports he is survived by his wife and two young children.

Officer Ruge, 27, has been with the Burnsville Police Department since April 2020. He was part of the department's crisis negotiations team and a physical evidence officer.

Firefighter-paramedic Finseth has been with Burnsville since February 2019. He served in Savage and Hastings before coming to Burnsville. Finseth was remembered by Savage firefighters in a message Sunday that read: "He was more than just a colleague; he was a family member of the Savage Fire team. His legacy is etched in the memories of those who served alongside him and characterized by his calm demeanor and unwavering support for his fellow team members. Adam’s impact on our department and community will be remembered, and his selfless service inspires us all."

Sgt. Medlicott was named Burnsville's Officer of the Year in 2020. He was also recognized with a Meritorious Service Award in 2021. Again, Sgt. Medlicott is expected to recover from his injuries.

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A full news conference is expected around 4 p.m. and a vigil is planned for 6:30 p.m. at Burnsville City Hall.

The gunman, who has not yet been identified, was determined to be dead around 8 a.m.

Around 1:30 p.m., the bodies of the officers were escorted from Hennepin County Medical Center to the medical examiner's office in Minnetonka. A long procession stretched down I-35W and Highway 62 over the course of 45 minutes.