Burnsville first responders shot: 2 officers, 1 firefighter-paramedic killed

Several Burnsville police officers were shot — two officers and one firefighter-paramedic were killed — while responding to a domestic call on Sunday morning. 

Authorities say police were called to a home on the 12600 block of 33rd Avenue South at 1:50 a.m. Sunday on a report of a domestic situation, where a man reported to be armed was barricaded with his family members, including seven children ages 2 to 15 years old.

After officers arrived, the situation "escalated," the City of Burnsville said in a press release. Officer Paul Elmstrand, Officer Matthew Ruge and Firefighter-Paramedic Adam Finseth were killed, while Police Sgt. Adam Medlicott was injured by the gunman during their response. 

At about 8 a.m., the suspect was reported to be dead. The other family members in the home left and are safe. 

Authorities said several officers returned fire and the suspect had multiple weapons and shot at police from multiple positions within the home. The exact timing of what occurred is part of the active investigation.


Bullet holes in a vehicle after a police shooting in Burnsville on Feb. 18, 2024.

Authorities say there is no ongoing threat. 

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety will support authorities with this investigation, Gov. Tim Walz said. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the incident.

A community vigil is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. The governor has ordered flags to be at half-staff starting at sunrise on Monday, Feb. 19. 

Officers, firefighter-paramedic identified

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Burnsville Police Officer Paul Elmstrand. 

Authorities identified the two officers and a firefighter-paramedic who were killed on Sunday. 

The Burnsville police officers have been identified as Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge. The firefighter-paramedic has been identified as Adam Finseth. One other police officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was injured. He was taken to the hospital. He is believed to have non-life-threatening injuries.

Elmstrand, 27, joined the Burnsville Police Department in August 2017 as a community service officer. He was promoted to officer in July 2019 and was part of the department’s mobile command staff, peer team, Honor Guard and field training unit.

READ MORE: Procession held for fallen officers, firefighter-paramedic

Ruge, 27, joined the Burnsville Police Department in April 2020. He was part of the department’s crisis negotiations team and was a physical evidence officer.

Finseth, 40, has been a Burnsville Firefighter-Paramedic since February 2019.

Neighbors heard commotion, gunfire

A man who lives in the area told FOX 9 he woke up to a lot of commotion and loud bangs around 5:30 a.m. and then heard a lot of gunshots. He went to the window, where he saw a lot of police vehicles and police officers in the area. He described this situation as "really scary," noting he's thankful his children weren't home this weekend. 

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Bullet holes in a vehicle after a police shooting in Burnsville on Feb. 18, 2024.  (FOX 9)

Another neighbor told FOX 9's Karen Scullin he watched police approach the house in formation when the barricaded man fired with what he says was a high-powered rifle from a second-story window. The neighbor said it was incredibly loud. He and his neighbors grabbed their guns because they didn't know what was happening. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.