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Suspect dead after Minnesota shootings of police officers and first responder

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Feb 2024, 2:00PM
A police vehicle with bullet pockmarks is towed near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed. Photo / AP
A police vehicle with bullet pockmarks is towed near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed. Photo / AP

Suspect dead after Minnesota shootings of police officers and first responder

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Feb 2024, 2:00PM

A man armed with multiple guns and large amounts of ammunition shot at police officers from both the upper and lower levels of a suburban Minneapolis home on Sunday, killing two officers and a firefighter, authorities said.

A third officer was wounded in the shooting in Burnsville. The suspect in the shooting also died, officials said.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans said there was an exchange of gunfire, and authorities were still piecing together details.

The firefighter and paramedic who was killed was providing aid to an injured officer when he was shot, authorities said. Evans told a news conference the paramedic was a part of a SWAT team that had been called to a domestic situation.

The shootings occurred after officers responded to a call for help from a home in suburban Minneapolis turned deadly for two police officers and a first responder who were shot and killed at the scene, according to US officials.

A police vehicle with bullet pockmarks is towed near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed. Photo / AP
A police vehicle with bullet pockmarks is towed near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed. Photo / AP

The suburban neighbourhood in Burnsville, Minnesota, in the US, was ringed with police cars that kept the press and public away from the scene where the shootings took place. The deaths of two Burnsville police officers and a first responder were confirmed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

“We are heartbroken. Our law enforcement community is heartbroken. We’re just devastated at the horrific loss,” Brian Peters, executive director of the association that represents public safety professionals in the state, said in a statement.

Burnsville police officer Matthew Ruge. Photo / AP
Burnsville police officer Matthew Ruge. Photo / AP

No other details were immediately released about what led up to the shooting in a tree-lined neighbourhood with two-story homes. A police armoured vehicle parked nearby had bullet damage to its windshield, but there was no confirmation on whether that was the result of the incident. The street was lined with SWAT vehicles, police cars, firefighters and ambulances.

Burnsville police, fire and city officials, including the mayor, didn’t immediately return phone or email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand. Photo / AP
Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand. Photo / AP

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said in a post on Facebook that in addition to those killed, other officers were injured.

“We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our police officers and first responders make every day,” Walz said. “My heart is with their families today and the entire State of Minnesota stands with Burnsville.”

Other law enforcement agencies immediately began posting messages of condolence on social media, including images of badges with blue bars through them. It is a mark of solidarity in mourning.

The Law Enforcement Labor Services represents rank-and-file officers and the supervisors of the Burnsville Police Department.

Burnsville firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth. Photo / AP
Burnsville firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth. Photo / AP

The organisation’s executive director, Jim Mortenson, said in a statement that “thoughts and prayers are with the family of the officers and first responder” who responded.

“These officers were struck down while answering the call of duty to serve and protect. We mourn alongside the Burnsville community and the families of those killed,” the statement said.

In neighbouring Goodhue County, Sheriff Marty Kelly wrote that it was closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds.

“In times like these,” Kelly said, “it is essential to come together as a community and support one another through the uncertainty and grief.”

Angie Craig of Minnesota said in a statement that she had been in touch with the mayor, police chief and state officials to offer any federal resources needed.

“Today,” she said, “serves as another solemn reminder that those who protect our communities do so at great personal risk.”

Burnsville, a city of around 64,000, is located about 24km south of downtown Minneapolis.

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