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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Three first responders killed in Burnsville shooting

Thomas Kovarik
UNITED RESPONSE. The ambulance of fallen paramedic Adam Finseth, who was shot and killed when attempting to help officers who were shot after responding to a domestic situation. The ambulance was covered in flowers and notes for the family.

Last Sunday, two police officers and a firefighter were shot and killed in Burnsville after a domestic situation turned violent. In the very early hours of the morning, a 911 call came in, suggesting that a man, later identified as Shannon Cortez Gooden, had barricaded himself and his family members inside the Burnsville home. Gooden was armed, and among the family were seven young children aged 2 to 15 years old.

The first responders, officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge of the Burnsville Police Department and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth, attempted to negotiate with Gooden, but he opened fire, killing all three and injuring an additional officer. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that following the incident, Gooden took his own life with a single gunshot wound to the head. Gooden was banned from owning the gun that he used due to a 2007 assault conviction, so it is not yet clear how he obtained it. Additionally, he had a track record of domestic violence, particularly against women he shared children with.

While driving home from a trip over President’s Day weekend, senior Ian Grewe passed through Burnsville, where the shooting took place. He said, “I actually saw first responder vehicles stopping, and it seemed like it was remembering the first responders who died.”

Senior Audrey Senaratna has seen many headlines about the Burnsville shooting and others: “I’ve heard of the shooting, I get all the headlines, but when it comes to shootings, I don’t ever click into it, just because there are so many of them,” she said. “There’s a new one literally every single day, and it’s become very desensitized in the news.”

Although Minnesota has only the 45th highest rate of gun violence in the United States, the rate of gun deaths has grown significantly compared to national levels. The rate of gun deaths increased by 20% from 2010 to 2019 in Minnesota, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. Furthermore, the rate of gun suicides increased by 15%, and gun homicides increased by 51%, compared to national increases of 13% and 26%.

“It definitely makes me frustrated because I really like Minnesota and what it has to offer to everyone, and hearing [about] the usage of guns in very bad ways just frustrates me,” Grewe said.

These statistics show that the recent Burnsville shooting is a part of a larger trend within the state and the country: gun violence is continuing to rise. In 2024, there have been 55 mass shootings so far, as recorded by the Gun Violence Archive, which is greater than the number of days that have passed since the start of the year. Recent acts of violence, such as the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Parade on Feb. 14, have garnered national attention. The Burnsville shooting has been no different, this time turning the spotlight on Minnesota.

Grewe shared a sense of cautiousness as a resident of Minnesota after the recent tragedy: “I feel safe in the communities that I’m in right now, but [gun violence is] definitely something that’s always on my mind no matter where I am, unfortunately.”

It definitely makes me frustrated because I really like Minnesota and what it has to offer to everyone, and hearing [about] the usage of guns in very bad ways just frustrates me.

— Ian Grewe


In the future, Senaratna hopes that gun control measures will increase to prevent shootings from happening in Minnesota and across the country. She suggested “having more background checks and a lot more foundational support when it comes to mental health because a lot of mass shootings come from a place of someone who isn’t getting the help they need.”

In the days following the shooting of Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth, funerals were held in their honor, attended by friends and family members, as well as Burnsville locals feeling the pain of this violence within their community. Additionally, first responders and their families, led by organizations like Backing the Blue Line, have come together to provide additional support and heal during this time. The public memorial for the first responders will be held on Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. at Grace Church in Eden Prairie.

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About the Contributors
Eliana Mann
Eliana Mann, Production Manager
My name is Eliana Mann (she/her). I work as the Production Manager for The Rubicon online, and this is my fourth year on staff. At school, I’m a captain of the varsity volleyball team, and am involved in Community Action and Service, Senior Class Leadership Council, and the freshman mentoring program. I love to spend quality time with my friends and family, watch sports games, and listen to music. I can be reached at [email protected].
Thomas Kovarik
Thomas Kovarik, Photojournalist
Hi, my name is Thomas Kovarik(he/him). I am a photojournalist for RubicOnline. I am involved in skiing and tennis at school. I like camping and staying active. I can be reached at [email protected].

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