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Firearm Shannon Gooden used in Burnsville shooting that killed 3 responders was straw purchase

By Web Staff

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    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the guns used by Shannon Gooden in a deadly Burnsville standoff earlier this month was a straw purchase made through a local firearms shop and range in January.

WCCO Senior Investigative Reporter Jennifer Mayerle has confirmed that the firearm, an AR-15 lower receiver, was a transfer purchase from The Modern Sportsman in Burnsville.

A straw purchase is when somebody legally buys a gun for someone else who is prohibited from owning one, such as a person convicted of a felony that’s a violent crime. It is a crime to commit a straw purchase, according to Minnesota law; it’s considered a gross misdemeanor.

Gooden fatally shot police officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand and firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth during a standoff early Sunday, Feb. 18, authorities say.

The owner of The Modern Sportsman, John McConkey, told Mayerle it came in as an online order from out of state. The buyer had to pick up the gun at a dealer to do the paperwork. The Modern Sportsman transferred the firearm to the individual who was not Gooden. McConkey told Mayerle the straw purchaser picked up the gun by themselves and said the clerk did their due diligence asking questions to make sure the gun was for the buyer. He said the person was knowledgeable and answered the questions asked. The AR-15 lower receiver was picked up on Jan. 5, 2024.

Gooden was barred from owning firearms or ammunition. He petitioned the courts to restore his gun rights back in 2020. The judge denied the petition in October of 2020. The county attorney opposed the petition saying the “Petitioner’s history of disobeying the law and posing a threat to public safety coupled with an insignificant passage of time demonstrates that, at this time, Petitioner has not demonstrated he can safely possess firearms. Petitioner’s inability to possess firearms for life is a consequence of committing a crime of violence, which Petitioner should have considered when he committed the crime.”

A search warrant shows that Gooden shot at officers with “what is believed to be multiple different weapons.” The BCA reports Gooden fired more than 100 rifle rounds during the incident. Investigators recovered several firearms and a large amount of ammunition at the scene.

Elmstrand, 27, had been with the Burnsville Police Department since 2017 and was promoted in 2019. He was also a part-time officer with the University of Minnesota Police Department. Ruge, also 27, joined the Burnsville Police Department in 2020. Finseth, 40, had been a firefighter and SWAT paramedic in the city since 2019. He previously worked with the fire departments in Savage and Hastings, and was also an Army veteran. Sgt. Adam Medlicott was also injured and has since been released from the hospital.

The three first responders killed will be memorialized with a public funeral Wednesday morning. The joint funeral will take place at Grace Church in Eden Prairie at 11 a.m. The families have also planned private funerals for each victim.

Gooden died by suicide, according to the medical examiner’s report.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the confrontation.

The killings now have some lawmakers revisiting gun control measures at the Capitol. Last legislative session, DFL representatives in the House and Senate passed both a red flag law and an additional background checks law. Both were strongly opposed by gun rights advocates. Left over from last year are two measures that were never voted on. Those include tougher gun storage laws and penalties, as well as a bill requiring immediate reporting of all lost and stolen guns.

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