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Conservation officer dies while responding to a call in northern Minnesota

The 48-year-old was responding to an accident when he had a medical emergency.

The law enforcement community is mourning the loss of a Minnesota conversation officer, who died while on duty Sunday. 

"It is with Deepest Sympathy that we announce the sudden passing of our Red Lake Conservation Officer - Shannon 'Opie' Barron #32," said the Red Lake Tribal Council in a Facebook post

Red Lake Police Department said Barron, 48, suffered a medical emergency shortly after responding to a call of service north of Red Lake. He was responding to an accident off of Hwy. 89 "involving an incident where there was suspected illegal harvesting." 

Barron, a 19-year veteran with the force, requested EMS to his location because he wasn't feeling well, and officers at the scene were "immediately performing life saving measures until officer Barron was transported to the Red Lake Indian Health Service Hospital, where they continued resuscitative efforts but were unsuccessful," Red Lake PD explained. 

A cause of death has not been released. 

Red Lake PD describes Barron as a devoted officer, citing "countless stories where Opie would show up out of the blue to back up officers regardless on the type of call they faced even though not called upon."

"He was a staunch defender when it came to protecting the natural resources of the nation and constantly stood side by side with the officers in the department regardless of the type of call it was," it added.

Barron leaves behind a wife, two children and numerous relatives. 

Law enforcement agencies from around the state have offered condolences in remembrance of their fallen colleague, including those with Eden Prairie PD and the Minnesota Sheriff's Association. 

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