Feds charge girlfriend for straw purchasing guns used by Burnsville shooter

Ashley Anne Dyrdahl is facing 11 felony counts.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announces charges on March 14, 2024, against Ashley Anne Dyrdahl. (U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota/Facebook)

A woman has now been federally indicted on charges of straw purchasing the guns that her boyfriend, Shannon Cortez Gooden, used to kill three first responders in Burnsville last month.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger made the announcement Thursday at a press conference in which he detailed that 35-year-old Ashley Anne Dyrdahl is facing 11 felony counts comprising one count of conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws, five counts of making straw purchases of firearms, and five counts of making false written statements on Form 4473, which is an ATF firearms transaction record required during the purchase of firearms from licensed dealers.

The indictment lays out the following details summarized in Luger’s press release:

“On February 18, 2024, Gooden used two AR-15-style semiautomatic firearms Dyrdahl provided to him —the firearm equipped with a binary trigger and loaded with .300 Blackout ammunition, and a Palmetto State Armory model PA-15 firearm — to ambush first responders, killing two police officers and a firefighter paramedic and injuring a third police officer. During the attack, Gooden fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition from the AR-15–style firearms. After the attack, law enforcement officers found in Dyrdahl and Gooden’s bedroom a stockpile of fully loaded magazines as well as boxes with hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition.
According to the indictment, at Gooden’s direction, Dyrdahl knowingly purchased five firearms, including a Glock model 47 9mm semiautomatic pistol purchased on September 21, 2023; a Palmetto State Armory model Sabre-15 firearm lower receiver purchased on October 18, 2023; a Glock model 43X 9mm semiautomatic pistol purchased on October 30, 2023; a Franklin Armory FAI-15 firearm lower receiver purchased on January 5, 2024; and a Palmetto State Armory PA-15 firearm lower receiver purchased on January 25, 2024. Dyrdahl knowingly made false and fictitious written statements to the [federal firearms licensees] when purchasing the firearms by falsely indicating on ATF Forms 4473 that she was the actual buyer of the firearms.”

The indictment lists two different Burnsville gun shops where Dyrdahl made the firearm purchases on five dates between September 2023 and January 2024. Luger said the two AR-style guns used by Gooden in the ambush and killing of the first responders on Feb. 18 were purchased on two dates in January by Dyrdahl.

Because Gooden had a prior felony conviction, he was prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

Gooden opened fire on the first responders with multiple different firearms.

Alpha News previously reported that Gooden had applied in 2020 to have his firearm rights restored but was eventually denied by the court following opposition submitted by the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, which cited two prior protection petitions filed against Gooden by two different women, one of whom was Dyrdahl.

Court records show and Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, reiterated during the press conference that Dyrdahl assisted Gooden in his petition to have his firearm rights restored in 2020 by filing an affidavit with the court in support of the restoration, indicating that Dyrdahl had knowledge that Gooden was prohibited from possessing firearms.

The indictment also indicates that text messages between Dyrdahl and Gooden retrieved by investigators show that Dyrdahl had a clear understanding that she and Gooden were breaking the law. On Sept. 10, a text exchange between the two discussed background checks and other questions asked by firearms sellers. Dyrdahl stated in the text, “We just gotta make sure we’re smart about all this ya know.”

On Sept. 21, following the purchase by Dyrdahl of a Glock 9mm pistol from one of the gun stores, Dyrdahl texted Gooden asking him how he liked the new gun. Gooden responded with a video in which he displayed the firearm and its attachments, and then loaded it with an extended magazine. Dyrdahl replied with, “Damn bae [smiling heart emoji],” and Gooden replied back with a “shhh” emoji.

“Shhh” emoji text sent to Dyrdahl from Gooden / US Attorney

“Dyrdahl intentionally and repeatedly obtained powerful and dangerous firearms and put them in the hands of a violent convicted felon,” Luger said during the press conference.

Superintendent Evans stated during the press conference, “Ashley Dyrdahl didn’t shoot anybody, make no mistake. That is Shannon Gooden who did that in this incident. But Ashley Dyrdahl handed him the guns, and for this, she must be held accountable.”

Luger said Dyrdahl surrendered to federal marshals on Thursday and made her first court appearance before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Cowan Wright Thursday afternoon. The penalty if convicted on the straw purchase charges is up to 15 years in prison, a penalty which was recently enhanced under U.S. law under a bipartisan bill titled the Safer Communities Act.

Luger indicated during his press conference that he would not be seeking pretrial detention of Dyrdahl while she awaits future court appearances, meaning she will remain out of custody unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Luger and Evans both indicated that the investigation into several aspects of the entire incident is active and ongoing, including Gooden’s actions earlier in the day that led police to be at the residence in the first place on Feb. 18.

Following the announcement by Luger, the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus released a statement which said that state Democrats refused to increase penalties for straw purchases in the last legislative session.

“I am greatly encouraged our federal attorneys stepped up to build a case and make these charges today. Straw purchasing in Minnesota has been illegal for many years but lacks appropriate penalties in state law,” said Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove. “Stopping gun crime means you need to have tough penalties, dedicated law enforcement, and motivated county prosecutors and judges. Minnesota can do better and Republicans have bills at the ready, including one to increase the penalty for a gun straw purchase from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. We are ready and willing to address the policies that can help prevent these crimes.”

Superintendent Evans stated that a full accounting of the facts and details of the events of the incident will be forthcoming following the completion of the investigation but indicated that could be some time down the road.

At the time of this writing, a booking photo of Dyrdahl was not available.

Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and 40-year-old fire medic Adam Finseth were killed by Gooden in the incident. More than 10,000 people turned out for a public memorial service in their honor last month.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.


Crime Watch MN

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.