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Video: Memorial service for slain Minn. first responders

Burnsville Police Officers Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Finseth were killed during a domestic violence call

By Kristi Miller
Pioneer Press

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — The wife of a first responder killed in the line of duty released a statement about her husband Sunday, a week after he and two other first responders died responding to a domestic disturbance.

[EARLIER: Thousands expected at memorial for slain Minn. first responders]

Police officers Paul Elmstrand, 27, and Matthew Ruge, 27, and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth, 40, were killed on Feb. 18 . Burnsville police Sgt. Adam Medlicott was shot and wounded. The gunman, who later died by suicide, was barricaded in a home with his family, including seven children.

Tara Finseth, who was married to Adam Finseth, released a statement on Sunday:

“To say that our family is devastated at the loss of our Adam is an understatement. We are broken. Our children will grow up without their “papa.” My soul mate is no longer here to wrap me in his arms and live out the life we had so intimately planned. His parents are without their son and his sister is without her big brother and best friend.

“So many friends and family are left with a void in their hearts. Adam was one of the most selfless and humble individuals you would ever meet,” she wrote. “His dedication to his family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, community, and country was unwavering. His warm smile, contagious laugh and genuine personality will be deeply missed by so many. Although our forever hero is no longer with us, his soul will live on through me, his children, family, friends, and community. We know he is by our side everyday until we meet again in heaven. On behalf of our family, thank you for the overwhelming and heartwarming support during this very difficult time.”

The wife of Elmstrand released a statement Saturday. In it she said her husband, “had a servant’s heart and would drop everything to help someone who was in need, whether it be family, friend or someone on the street.”

A family friend of Matthew Ruge has said he was always a person who wanted to help others and was super respectful, nice and kind.

A joint, public memorial service for Elmstrand, Finseth and Ruge will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Grace Church , 9301 Eden Prairie Road in Eden Prairie.

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