3 Dead, Others Wounded, Responding to ‘Domestic Violence’ Call in Minnesota

26 Feb, 2024 Liz Carey

                               

Burnsville, MN (WorkersCompensation.com) – Officials said two police officers and one first responder were dead, and numerous other officers were injured after responding to a call that for a “family in danger” in Minnesota Sunday.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the news horrific as he posted about the shooting online.

“While responding to a call of a family in danger, two police officers and one firefighter lost their lives, and other officers were injured,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a tweet. “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.”

Officials with the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association said the officers were responding to a domestic abuse call for assistance.

“We are heartbroken,” the association said online. “Our law enforcement community is heartbroken. We’re just devastated at the horrific loss. These heroes leave behind loved ones and a community who will forever remember their bravery and dedication to keeping Minnesotans safe.”

Officials said the shooting happened after an hours long standoff between police and the shooter. According to emergency dispatch recordings, police were responding to a call that came in around 2:30 a.m. about a domestic abuse situation at a single-family home in a middle class neighborhood in Burnsville. The city of more than 64,000 is a suburb of both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Police surrounded the house, according to the dispatch recordings. Police learned there were children at the home, and then later determined there were “multiple firearms in the home.” About two hours into the standoff, one officer said the suspect was “dangerous,” that he was refusing to come out of the house and that he was continuing to negotiate with officers from the building’s second floor.

Around 5:26 a.m., officers said two officers had been shot. Barely a minute later, dispatch recordings indicated more shots were fired from the house. The second series of shots killed a medic moving to assist one of the officers who had been previously shot. Other officers were injured, police said, but it was not immediately clear how many.

Around 6:45 a.m., an officer reported over dispatch that shots were heard inside the building, but it was unclear where they came from. Later, witnesses inside the building said the shooter was dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"We have a caller calling from inside saying the dad is down," a dispatcher said at 6:55 a.m., according to the recordings "He is not breathing. He is in the bedroom. … He just shot himself in the head."

Witnesses nearby said they heard a single gunshot around 5:12 a.m., followed by three more. They indicated officers and a SWAT vehicle, with a battering ram type arm, were near the house. Soon afterward, the witness, Randy McCullum, a neighbor, said they heard glass crashing and a barrage of gunfire, as well as flash grenades. Later, as daylight broke, McCullum said at least seven people left the building, most of them children who they believed ranged in age from 4 to 13.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement that she and her husband were praying for the officers.

“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,” Klobuchar said.

By noon Sunday, several hundred officers from police departments nearby were staged outside of the Hennepin County Medical Center where the officers were taken. Medical staff joined the officers as they lined up outside the center awaiting the transfer of the bodies to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office in Minnetonka. Minneapolis police chief Brian O’Hara and several Minneapolis police senior commanders were present, as well as a police sergeant who walked out of the hospital with a folded American flag under his arm. Black bands symbolizing mourning were placed over their badges.

"Our prayers go out to Chief Tanya Schwartz, all the police and their families affected by this horror," O'Hara told the Star Tribune.

Gov. Walz said flags would be flown at half-staff across Minnesota on Monday, and the state’s Department of Public Safety said it was “coordinating with local law enforcement to conduct an investigation.”

The killings mark the eighth incident in just over 10 months that officers have been killed or wounded by gunfire in or near Minnesota. Within hours of the news of the incident, police departments from across the state offered up their support. The city, officials said, was reeling.

"This is an extremely difficult day for our police department and fire department," Burnsville City Council Member Cara Schulz, who was serving as acting mayor Sunday morning. "As a community we are standing w them in solidarity, and we show our gratitude for their unwavering dedication and willingness to sacrifice for us."


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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