Two Minnesota officers and a paramedic killed responding to ‘domestic situation’

Two police officers and one paramedic were killed and others were injured in Burnsville, Minnesota after law enforcement responded to a domestic violence call, authorities said.

Burnsville Police were called to the 12600 block of 33rd Avenue South in the early hours of 18 February after receiving a report of a “domestic situation” in which an armed man was allegedly barricaded with family members — including seven children aged two to 15 years old, Drew Evans, Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Crime Apprehension, said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

Police spent “quite a bit of time negotiating,” with the suspect, he said.

While “we don’t know the exact exchange of gunfire,” Mr Evans said at some point, the man opened fire on the officers. He added that the unnamed individual had “several guns and large amounts of ammunition.”

Shots were fired from the upper and main floors of the residence, he said.

Police officers Paul Elmstrand, 27, and Matthew Ruge, 27, as well as Adam Finseth, 40, who was a paramedic and firefighter, were killed, police said. One officer was shot inside of the home, Mr Evans said, and it’s not currently clear where the others were shot.

Matthew Ruge (left), Paul Elmstrand (centre), and Adam Finseth were killed in Burnsville, Minnesota on Sunday (Burnsville Police)
Matthew Ruge (left), Paul Elmstrand (centre), and Adam Finseth were killed in Burnsville, Minnesota on Sunday (Burnsville Police)

Another officer, Sgt Adam Medlicott, was injured and transported to a hospital, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. “They are heroes,” Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said at the press conference. “We are hurting.”

Hours later — around 8am — the suspect, who has not been named, was reported dead. Not long after, family members were able to leave the home; they were reported safe. The Medical Examiner’s Office will provide identification of the suspect, Mr Evans said.

Officials assured “there is no ongoing threat.”

Mr Evans called it a “terrible day for the city of Burnsville.” The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating the incident.

Minnesota Gov Tim Walz said at the press conference called the incident “heartbreaking” and praised the first responders’ “noble work.”

Earlier on X, the governor wrote, “Horrific news from Burnsville. While responding to a call of a family in danger, two police officers and one firefighter lost their lives, and other officers were injured,” he wrote on X. “We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our police officers and first responders make every day. My heart is with their families today and the entire State of Minnesota stands with Burnsville.

The Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called the incident “deeply shocking and saddening.” He added, “My prayers are with their loved ones, their colleagues and their communities. I stand ready to assist in any criminal prosecution and the pursuit of justice.”

“Please keep Burnsville Police Dept in your prayers this morning,” Minneapolis Police chief Brian O’Hara wrote on X on Sunday.

Coons Rapids Police Department also wrote, “Our hearts are broken this morning as we learn about an unthinkable tragedy in Burnsville this morning. Details are limited at this time. Please join us as we send our thoughts and prayers to the Burnsville Police Department, their families and their public safety community.”

“Learned from police this morning that three officers have been shot in Burnsville,” Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar wrote. “They were doing their jobs. They were protecting our community. John and I are praying for them and their families and the Burnsville P.D. this morning.

Minnesota Rep Angie Craig wrote, “I’m devastated to hear the news coming out of Burnsville this morning & remain in close contact with local officials & law enforcement to offer any federal support they need.” She added, “I’m keeping the Burnsville PD, first responders, their loved ones & the entire community in my thoughts.”