Gov. Walz orders flags flown at half-staff for fallen Red Lake conservation officer

(Red Lake Police Department)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has ordered flags flown at half-staff across the state Thursday in honor of a Red Lake Nation conservation officer who died on the job Sunday night after suffering a medical emergency. 

Shannon “Opie” Barron, 48, was responding to a call north of Red Lake off Highway 89 where illegal harvesting was suspected. Officers cleared the call for service, but they requested EMS to the location because Barron was not feeling well, according to the Red Lake Police Department. Life-saving measures were initiated by officers on scene and Barron was transferred to Red Lake Indian Service Hospital, where he died. 

The medical examiner has yet to release Barron’s official cause of death. 

Barron was a 19-year veteran of the Red Lake Police Department. He graduated from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Indian Police Academy) in Artesia, NM before beginning in Minnesota.

Walz recognized Barron for his service and for his sacrifice for his fellow citizens. 

“Conservation Officer Barron was an outstanding conservation officer who was admired and respected by his colleagues and serviced with dignity and pride,” Walz said. 

All United States and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-state at all state and federal buildings in honor and remembrance of Barron. 

He leaves behind a wife, two children, his aunt who raised him and numerous relatives.