Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Suspect who fatally shot 2 officers, 1 first responder was not permitted to own firearm

By 37ci3 Feb20,2024

That man He shot two police officers and a first responder in Minnesota was banned from owning a firearm over the weekend and made an unsuccessful bid to overturn a lifetime state ban four years ago, court records show.

A medical examiner identified the slain shooter as 38-year-old Shannon Gooden, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Monday.

He had several guns and a large amount of ammunition when he opened fire on law enforcement officers while barricading a home with seven children in Burnsville, Minnesota, on Sunday.

According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Chief of Criminal Apprehension Drew Evans, the children ranged in age from 2 to 15 years old.

A police car is towed away with what appear to be bullet marks.
A bullet-riddled police car is pulled up near the scene where two police officers and a first responder were shot and killed in Burnsville, Minn., on Sunday.Abbie Parr / AP

Evans said the officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect when they opened fire. He killed police officers Paul Elmstrand, 27, and Matthew Ruge, 27, and Adam Finseth, 40, a firefighter and paramedic, city officials said.

They died of gunshot wounds within 15 minutes of each other, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

Another officer, Adam Medlicott, was shot at the scene and is expected to survive.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Public Safety said Goode, of Burnsville, also died in the incident. The medical examiner did not reveal the cause of his death.

In a statement to NBC News, Gooden worked as a traveling artist at LaMettry’s Collision in Burnsville for more than a decade. He expressed his condolences to the first responders and their relatives.

“We are shocked and saddened by the news of this horror and tragedy,” Elmstrand said in the statement, which said Ruge and Finseth made “the ultimate sacrifice, risking everything.”

Gooden was barred from owning a firearm by state law in 2007, when he was 21, after being convicted of second-degree assault. According to his attorney, Mathew K. Higbee, the incident in the mall parking lot involved a knife.

In 2020, Higbee sought to overturn what he called a “draconian” ban, arguing that Goode had “good cause” because he was not a “dangerous criminal” or a “potential risk to society.”

Higbee said in her lawsuit that Goode took anger management classes while in prison and provided for her longtime girlfriend, her two children and their five children.

“He did everything he could to pick himself up, move forward, and live as a productive and law-abiding member of society,” Higbee wrote.

State law allows a court to restore a prohibited person’s right to possess a firearm if there is “good cause” and the person is no longer behind bars.

A judge denied a motion to overturn the ban in 2020, court records show. No explanation was given in the order.

In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Higbee said the judge made the “correct decision.”

“It’s comforting to see the system working,” he said. “If he had restored gun rights and this happened a month, a year later, I would feel terrible.”

Higbee said he was surprised to hear about the shooting and didn’t believe Goode was capable of such violence when he filed the petition in 2020.

“I, probably like everyone else, whoever came across it, would have thought it wasn’t going to happen,” he said. “There’s no way to know.”

Those attending the funeral.
A candlelight vigil for two police officers and a first responder who were shot and killed in Burnsville, Minn., on Sunday.Abbie Parr / AP

During the plea, Higbee said people close to Gooden vouched for his character. According to the lawyer, his client also had evidence of rehabilitation and had not been convicted of serious crimes in ten years.

Higbee declined to say when he last spoke to Gooden. According to him, no appeal or additional motion was filed after the court’s rejection.

Higbee called the fatal shooting a “tragedy” for the families of the first responders, as well as Goode’s.

“These kids will never be the same,” he said.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Sunday’s fatal shooting.

Authorities said no prior service calls were made to the home or the suspect who fired the shots.

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By 37ci3

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