Woman Accused of Purchasing Guns Used in Deaths of 3 Minnesota First Responders

Woman charged with buying guns used in killings of 3 Minnesota first responders

A woman from Burnsville, Minnesota, has been accused of illegally purchasing firearms used in the tragic killings of three first responders in a standoff at a residence in the Minneapolis suburb. According to federal authorities, seven children were present inside the home during the incident.

U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced on Thursday that the 35-year-old woman from Burnsville had collaborated with the shooter, Shannon Gooden, between September 21 and January 25 to unlawfully acquire firearms.

The charges against her include one count of conspiracy and five counts of making false statements during the firearm purchasing process. She is scheduled to appear in federal court for the first time on Thursday afternoon.

During a news conference, both local and federal authorities commended the investigation while expressing sorrow over the loss of the two officers and the firefighter-paramedic who lost their lives during the standoff.

Woman Accused of Purchasing Guns Used in Deaths of 3 Minnesota First Responders
Woman Accused of Purchasing Guns Used in Deaths of 3 Minnesota First Responders (Credits: KARE11)

Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena emphasized the woman’s role in providing Gooden with firearms, stating that she enabled him to possess an arsenal that ultimately led to the tragic deaths of three individuals.

The victims of the standoff, Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27 years old, and firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth, 40 years old, were honored at a memorial service two weeks prior, which was attended by numerous law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics.

According to investigators, Shannon Gooden, aged 38, initiated gunfire without warning following lengthy negotiations and later took his own life. Sergeant Adam Medlicott, aged 38, survived gunshot wounds sustained while attending to the injured.

Court records reveal that Gooden was prohibited from owning firearms due to his criminal record and was embroiled in a prolonged dispute over custody of his three oldest children. The children present in the house during the incident ranged in age from 2 to 15 years old.

Police responded to the residence around 1:50 a.m., with Gooden refusing to leave but claiming he was unarmed and had children inside. After approximately 3 1/2 hours of negotiation, Gooden suddenly opened fire on officers inside the house before ultimately being wounded in the leg by returning fire from law enforcement.

The initial victims, Elmstrand, Ruge, and Medlicott, were reportedly shot within the residence. Medlicott and another officer exchanged fire with Gooden, injuring him, while attempting to reach an armored vehicle parked in the driveway. Finseth, who was part of the SWAT team, was shot while aiding the officers. Despite medical efforts, Elmstrand, Ruge, and Finseth succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

According to authorities, Gooden possessed “several firearms” and discharged over 100 rounds before taking his own life. Initial reports suggested that the 911 call prompting the police response concerned a “sexual assault allegation,” although specifics were not provided.

John McConkey, the owner of a Burnsville gun store, revealed last month that one of the firearms recovered from the scene was traced back to his store. The firearm had been legally purchased by an individual who passed a background check and acquired it on January 5.

McConkey stated that authorities informed him the purchaser was under investigation for involvement in a felony straw purchase, and that Gooden was not present during the transaction.

Gooden’s former girlfriend, Noemi Torres, disclosed that she testified before a federal grand jury investigating the case. Torres, speaking to The Associated Press, explained that she was questioned about her relationship with Gooden and whether he could have coerced her into buying a gun. She asserted that due to their history of domestic abuse, she would not have complied out of fear for her safety.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.