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‘Heroic actions’ of law enforcement meant safety for family in Burnsville home, says relative of gunman’s girlfriend

Saint Paul Pioneer Press - 2/20/2024

The family in a Burnsville home where a man fatally shot two officers and a firefighter are safe because of the “heroic actions” of the law enforcement officials involved, a relative said Tuesday.

“We are devastated by the significant loss in the Burnsville community,” wrote Madison Weimar, whose 35-year-old sister lived in the home with her children, on GoFundMe. “We have our thoughts and prayers with the families of the first responders, and all those whom were affected by this incident.”

Authorities have said someone from the house in the 12600 block of 33rd Avenue South called 911 about 1:50 a.m. Sunday on a report of a domestic situation where a man reported to be armed was barricaded with family members. They’ve said there were seven children in the home between the ages of 2 and 15.

Shannon Cortez Gooden, 38, opened fire, killing Burnsville Police Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Finseth. A police sergeant was also injured. Gooden died when he shot himself, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.

Gooden was the father of five of the children in the home — three from a previous relationship and two with his girlfriend, who he lived with in a rented home. Another two are his girlfriend’s children.

Weimar wrote that her sister “is a loving and caring stay at home mom of 4 biological children and 3 step children.”

Around 1:50 a.m. Sunday, “tragedy struck for my sister’s family with a devastating loss,” Weimar wrote.

“A serious and shocking chain of events has caused significant damage to the household, therefore, my sister and her children no longer have a place to call home,” Weimar wrote, adding that her sister and her children are now staying with family. She asked for privacy for them.

They will need a home “so they can grieve in private, start their healing process via therapy, replace transportation and get the kids back to normal routines and school as soon as possible,” Weimar wrote of why she’s raising money.

Donations for the families of the fallen officers and firefighter are being accepted at

The online fundraiser for the woman and children in Gooden’s home can be found at

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