Hero’s Wife Speaks Out After Husband’s Brutal Killing

Officer Paul Elmstrand of the Burnsville Police Department was a dedicated family man with a strong work ethic and a passion for law enforcement that began when he was a high school student.

Tragically, Elmstrand, along with firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth and fellow officer Matthew Ruge, was shot and killed on Sunday morning in Burnsville while responding to a domestic violence situation.

Elmstrand, a 27-year-old, is a native of rural Isanti County. As a student, Elmstrand was involved with many clubs and organizations, including the student council, the National Honor Society, and a program that helped ninth students adjust to high school. Elmstrand also served as senior class president.

He was an active member of the high school’s law enforcement club and the Isanti County Law Enforcement Explorers program, allowing students to get practical experience in the field.

The 27-year-old Elmstrand became a member of the Burnsville Police Department in 2017 and received a promotion in 2019. In 2018, Elmstrand received a degree in criminal justice from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

He was a member of the department’s Honor Guard, field training unit, peer team, and mobile command staff.

Responding to a report of an armed guy trapped inside a residence with seven children and other family members, Elmstrand was killed early Sunday morning. It is anticipated that a third officer will recover from their wounds. Subsequently, the body of the suspect, 38-year-old Shannon Gooden, was discovered. The medical examiner determined that he had committed suicide.

Elmstrand’s wife, Cindy Elmstrand-Castruita, said that she and Elmstrand had been classmates since kindergarten and began dating in their senior year of high school. They’re parents to a 5-month-old and a 2-year-old, and they’ve been wed for five years.

According to his wife, Elmstrand would “drop everything” to assist a stranger in need.

She said a friend texted her at 7:30 on Sunday morning to express her sorrow for her situation. She mistook their conversation for a mistake not meant for her and was now confused. Then she realized what was happening.

The Officer Down Memorial Page reports that four American police officers have been slain this year in a shooting as of Sunday.