Local law enforcement react to shooting in Burnsville

RPD Reacts to Tragedy in Burnsville

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(ABC 6 News) – Three men went to work just like any normal day, until that typical day on the job turned to tragedy. Law enforcement say it can happen anytime, anywhere.

“Anywhere in the county when police officers lose their lives, but certainly when it’s here in our state, it does absolutely hit closer to home,” said Lt. Paul Gronholz with the Rochester Police Department.

Two Burnsville police officers and one Burnsville firefighter are dead following a response to what police say call a domestic abuse incident. The news sending shock waves across the first responder community.

“They can be highly violent. A lot of times they are. A lot of times the violence is over when the police get there. The biggest thing to remember though is officers don’t really know that when they are going to that,” said Gronholz.

— RELATED: Friends of Burnsville Firefighter Adam Finseth reflect on his life

Gronholz says training for every scenario is vital.

“So, try to give as dynamic and real-to-life training scenarios in our academy that we have for new officers and in our annual training for officers,” said Gronholz.

— RELATED: Minnesotans show support, pay respects after 3 first responders killed in Burnsville; identity of shooter released

But sometimes, in the line of duty, first responders see and experience life-changing events. And that’s where George Beech and his team of chaplains come in.

“Really what chaplains at Salt and Life Partners are trying to do is build relationships with police officers, deputies, firefighters so that when something happens, they have someone to go to that they already know,” said Beech.

He adds incidents like the one Burnsville can be difficult for everyone in the department.

“Science is telling us immediate, that what we call diffusing, right after an incident happens and then probably a couple days later where you have to get together with a group of people that had that similar incident, and when you do that you process those emotions better,” said Beech.

Emotions that even Gronholz felt as he thinks about his fellow first responders.

— RELATED: Firefighter killed in Burnsville shooting was Rochester native

“Service to our country and service to our community is a calling. It’s service to our country or our community is a calling, we take very seriously, and we are very proud of,” said Gronholz.

Beech says Burnsville does have chaplains like they do in Rochester and says they are in great hands.

I have a high school classmate of mine who is a Burnsville police officer, so I know all of us are thinking of these three men and their loved ones.