DOJ Indicts Girlfriend of Minnesota Man for Buying Guns He Used to Kill 2 Police Officers, Paramedic

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A suburban Minneapolis woman has been indicted for her alleged role in the incident that claimed the lives of two police officers and a paramedic in a brutal shooting that took place in February. She is being charged for helping Shannon Cortez Gooden obtain the firearms he used to gun down the three first responders.

The Justice Department announced the arrest of Ashley Anne Dyrdahl of Burnsville, Minnesota, on Thursday.

According to court documents, between September 21, 2023, and January 25, 2024, Ashley Anne Dyrdahl, 35, conspired with Shannon Cortez Gooden to place firearms in Gooden’s hands, despite the fact Gooden could not legally own or possess firearms. On February 18, 2024, Gooden used the firearms that Dyrdahl supplied to murder two police officers and a firefighter paramedic, and injure a third officer, during an armed stand-off with law enforcement officers who were responding to a call for help.

According to the indictment, in 2008, Gooden was convicted in Dakota County of second-degree assault, a felony offense. In 2016, Dyrdahl began a domestic relationship with Gooden and, as early as 2019, knew that Gooden had been convicted of a felony offense. In 2020, Dyrdahl filed a letter in support of Gooden’s petition to restore his firearm rights in which she acknowledged his conviction and crime. Despite knowing of Gooden’s felony status, between September of 2023 and January of 2024, Dyrdahl purchased five firearms from two different federal firearms licensees (FFLs) at Gooden’s direction and knowingly and intentionally transferred the firearms to Gooden.

The Justice Department’s press release explains that Gooden “sent text messages to Dyrdahl of firearms he wanted her to purchase.” The woman placed the orders and filled out ATF forms falsely claiming that she was the actual gun buyer. “We just gotta make sure we’re smart about all this ya know?” Dyrdahl said in a text message to Gooden.

As part of the conspiracy alleged in the indictment, on September 21, 2023, Dyrdahl bought a Glock 47 9mm semiautomatic pistol from an FFL. The same day, Dyrdahl sent Gooden a text asking him how he liked the new gun. Gooden responded with a video in which he displayed the firearm and its attachments, then loaded the firearm with an extended magazine. Dyrdahl replied to the video with a smiling heart emoji. In a text exchange on October 24, 2023, Dyrdahl and Gooden discussed purchasing another firearm. Gooden sent Dyrdahl a link to a Glock 43X 9mm semiautomatic pistol for sale, specified which Burnsville FFL she should have the firearm sent to, and said he would send her money for the firearm. Dyrdahl ordered the firearm, texted Gooden a confirmation of the purchase, and said, “Ordered,” to which Gooden replied, “Love you.” On October 30, 2023, Dyrdahl picked up the Glock 43X pistol from the FFL and transferred it to Gooden.

This all happened before Gooden murdered the first responders, then turned one of the guns on himself. The incident occurred when the three menBurnsville police officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand, and firefighter and paramedic Adam Finsethresponded to a domestic violence call. Shortly after arriving, Gooden opened fire on the officers while barricaded in the home.

It was later revealed that Gooden was prohibited by law from owning firearms due to his criminal record.

Gooden’s troubled background adds even more layers of complexity to the tragedy. In 2008, he was convicted after pulling out a seven-inch knife during a fight at a shopping center and throwing rocks at a woman’s vehicle. He also had two arrests for disorderly conduct in 2004 and 2005.

He was prohibited from possessing firearms because of his violent history.

Aside from the tragedy that took place on February 18, this story also highlights an inconvenient reality for the anti-gunner lobby. Minnesota has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and has a “B” ranking from the Giffords Law Center, a leading anti-gunner organization. Yet, none of the state’s firearms restrictions were able to save the lives of the three men who were tragically killed that day. They did nothing to stop Gooden from obtaining firearms despite his record.

The Burnsville incident is a tragic reminder that putting more gun laws in place does nothing more than give the appearance that the government is trying to take action against gun violence. In reality, the legislation is nothing more than an illusion, not a real solution.

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