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Violence Free Minnesota, the coalition to end relationship abuse, remembers Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and Adam Finseth, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th confirmed victim of intimate partner homicide in Minnesota in 2024.
Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and Adam Finseth, 40, were shot and killed in
Burnsville by Shannon Gooden, 38, while responding to a 911 call "regarding an alleged sexual
assault allegation," on the morning of February 18. When officers arrived, Gooden barricaded himself in a bedroom and refused to come out. After a period of attempted negotiation failed, Gooden began shooting and exchanged gunfire with police. During this exchange, Gooden shot and killed Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and nonfatally shot another officer. Adam Finseth was killed while attempting lifesaving measures on one of the officers. Gooden then shot and killed himself. Gooden had a history of intimate partner violence and abuse. Two women who had children with Gooden filed for orders for protection against him, one in 2017, and another in 2020. In the 2017 petition, the woman stated Gooden headbutted her, causing a concussion and black eyes, and threw her down the stairs. She also said he had a history of being “emotionally and physically abusive from the very beginning," and the police were called to their residence on multiple occasions. The petition for this order was dismissed when the woman did not appear for a court hearing. The woman who filed the 2020 order for protection said Gooden caused her to fall down stairs while he cut her clothes with a knife. She also said she believed Gooden would kill her. The judge in that case dismissed the petition due to a "lack of proof" of abuse. After a 2007 conviction for assault, Gooden was prohibited to possess firearms for life. He petitioned the court in 2020 to rescind this restriction, but was denied. Seven of Gooden's children, along with his current partner, were in the Burnsville home when he shot and killed Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge, and Adam Finseth. Some of the children witnessed Gooden kill himself. Adam Finseth and Paul Elmstrand each leave behind two minor children.
Violence Free Minnesota, the coalition to end relationship abuse, remembers Sandra Wilson Goertz, the 1st confirmed victim of intimate partner homicide in Minnesota in 2024.
Sandra Wilson Goertz, 81, was shot and killed by her husband, Irwin Goertz, 80, in their Lake Benton home on January 4. Irwin shot Sandra multiple times before killing himself.
Learn more here: https://www.vfmn.org/we-remember #WeRememberMN
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