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US gun violence: First responder, 2 police officers killed in Minnesota shooting

US officers at the Minneapolis Police Department wheel the casket of a Burnsville first responder out of the Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis on Feb.18, 2024. (Photo screenshot courtesy of MPR News)

Two police officers and a firefighter-paramedic have been killed in a shooting incident in Burnsville, Minnesota, local authorities say.

Burnsville police were called to a home where a man was reported to be armed and barricaded inside with family members, city officials said in a news release on Sunday.

“After arriving, the situation escalated into gunfire with responders,” the city said in the release.

According to Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a total of 7 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were in the home.

The 911 call came from someone in the home, Evans said.

The unidentified man had “several guns and a large amount of ammunition,” when he shot at police “from multiple positions in the home,” Evans said.

Multiple firearms were recovered from the residence, he added.

Three first responders killed during the shooting were identified by the city as officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27 and 40-year-old firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth.

Another officer, Sgt. Adam Medlicott was injured and taken to a hospital. He is believed to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the city said.

The family members in the home made it out safely a short time later.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was also killed, according to the news release.

Evans said body camera footage from the officers will be reviewed and the medical examiner will identify the suspect. Autopsies are scheduled for Monday.

As of February 18, there have been nearly 50 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, including one that took place after the celebration parade for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, CNN reported citing data from Gun Violence Archive.

A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more victims are shot or killed.

According to the report last year ranked second for most mass shootings in a year since 2013.

Gun Violence Archive also reported that as of February 15, at least 4,994 people have died from gun violence in the US this year, which is an average of about 108 deaths each day. Another 3,351 people have been injured.

Mass shootings in the US have more than doubled in the last decade.

US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to address the issue, urging lawmakers to ban assault weapons.

However, Republicans are staunch promoters of US gun culture and adamantly adhere to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution (right to bear arms), opposing strict bans on guns.

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