Burnsville suspect was denied gun rights in 2020, reportedly wanted for sex crime

Alpha News was the first to report the suspect's identity.

Shannon Cortez Gooden

The suspect in Sunday’s Burnsville tragedy has been identified by several sources who spoke to Alpha News.

Shannon Cortez Gooden, 38, opened fire on multiple first responders after they were called to respond to a domestic abuse incident at a Burnsville home, the sources said. The subsequent gunfight left two Burnsville police officers and a fire medic dead. Gooden died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, although several officers returned fire during the incident.

Alpha News was the first to report the suspect’s identity Sunday night. Authorities said during a press conference Sunday afternoon that they are waiting for the medical examiner’s report to release the name of the shooter.

According to records with the Minnesota court system, Gooden had a rap-sheet going back to 2004 when he was convicted for disorderly conduct. In addition to a variety of traffic-related infractions including driving after suspension, expired registration, and speeding, Gooden had a domestic assault charge dismissed in 2005.

In 2008, Gooden was convicted of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and was subsequently sentenced to multiple years of probation.

After this conviction, Gooden lost his right to possess firearms. Years after the conviction and completing his probation sentence, Gooden applied to have his firearm rights restored. In 2020, a Dakota County judge denied Gooden’s application for restoration of firearm rights. The Dakota County Attorney’s Office opposed Gooden’s application, citing two order for protection petitions filed against him by two different women.

According to information from Crime Watch Minneapolis, Gooden was also “wanted or was to be arrested for 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct” at the time of the shooting.

A 2014 video posted by Crime Watch also appears to show Gooden wielding some kind of pellet or air-soft rifle in a garage with friends. The group was ostensibly engaging in target practice. In that video, Gooden said he was picturing a white person when he aimed at the target.

Police engaged in an hours-long standoff with Gooden after being called to the Burnsville home at 1:50 a.m. on Sunday. Barricading himself in the home, Gooden had multiple guns and significant amounts of ammunition with him. Seven children were present in the home throughout the ordeal. According to a social media post, Gooden had previously received custody of three children he shared with an ex-wife.

The seven children and other family members in the home were not injured in the gunfight.

The City of Burnsville identified the fallen police officers as Paul Elmstrand, 27, and Matthew Ruge, 27. Additionally, the city identified the firefighter/paramedic as Adam Finseth, 40.

On Sunday afternoon, a law enforcement procession escorted the bodies of the fallen police officers and fire medic to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnetonka. With police officers from across the state escorting the fallen heroes, the procession route was marked with American flags throughout.

Sunday night, Minnesotans from around the metro area gathered at a vigil outside the Burnsville Police Department to honor Elmstrand, Ruge, and Finseth. With candles, memorials, and prayers, community members expressed their grief for the fallen and their support for the first responders who keep Minnesota’s communities safe.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.