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The mourners arrived by the busload, their eyes puffy with tears as they filed past a phalanx of police. Hundreds of uniformed officers stood at solemn attention in the HCMC ambulance bay, a show of solidarity for fellow law enforcement and their families.

A domestic assault call and hourslong standoff in Burnsville turned deadly early Sunday morning when the suspect fired upon responding officers, striking three — two fatally — and also killing a firefighter/paramedic attempting to treat one of the wounded.

A sea of police and firefighters saluted in unison as the bodies of Burnsville officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and paramedic Adam Finseth, 40, were rolled out on American flag-draped gurneys.

Dozens of doctors and nurses peered down from the hospital's windows, filming the spectacle. Other medical professionals stood outside in their scrubs, some grouped together under a thin blanket, and quietly wept as all three bodies were loaded into vans bound for the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minnetonka.

Trailing behind, a police sergeant tucked three folded American flags under his arm for the victims' families.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara and senior commanders were present, alongside Mayor Jacob Frey and Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt. Minneapolis officer Jacob Spies, who was shot in the shoulder pursuing a suspect last August, stood in the front row. Many officers, including O'Hara, placed black mourning bands over their police badges.

"Our prayers go out to [Burnsville] Chief Tanya Schwartz, all the police and their families affected by this horror," O'Hara told the Star Tribune shortly before a large procession began.

Squad cars from every corner of the Twin Cities escorted the slain officers' motorcade. Along the way, civilians and police gathered on street corners and interstate overpasses, often placing their hands over their heart, as the trail of blinking blue and red lights inched toward the morgue.

The on-duty killings shook the south-metro neighborhood and larger law enforcement community, which has endured nine such shootings of sworn personnel in the region in the past 10 months. Unsure how to help, area residents dropped off homemade hot dishes at the Burnsville police headquarters Sunday morning.

"This is an extremely difficult day for our Police Department and Fire Department," said Burnsville City Council Member Cara Schulz, who was serving as acting mayor Sunday morning. "As a community we are standing with them in solidarity, and we show our gratitude for their unwavering dedication and willingness to sacrifice for us."

"We lost some heroes today, and we're all feeling it," added fellow City Council Member Dan Kealey.