Red Lake Conservation Officer Passes Away in Line of Duty; Minn. Governor Orders Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff

Office Shannon “Opie” Barron, a 19-year veteran of the force passed away in line of duty on Sunday.


Published July 10, 2019

RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION — The Red Lake Nation is mourning the loss of Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon “Opie” Barron, who walked on this past Sunday while in the line of duty.  Officer Barron was 48.

Tribal officials say Officer Barron responded to a call that someone was suspected of illegal harvesting north of Red Lake. After investigating the incident, Officer Barron requested EMS assistance because he was not feeling well. Upon arrival to his location, officers performed life-saving procedures and he was transported to a hospital where he passed away.

A conservation officer for Red Lake Department of Public Safety since March 2000, Officer Barron graduated from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Indian Police Academy) in Artesia, New Mexico. a

The Red Lake Tribal Council issued the following statement:

It is with Deepest Sympathy that we announce the sudden passing of our Red Lake Conservation Officer – Shannon “Opie” Barron #32.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Opie’s family, all his friends & the entire force at the Red Lake Department of Public Safety.

Chi-Miigwetch for protecting our lands and lakes of the Red Lake Nation for the past 19 years, Opie will be greatly missed.

Minnesota GovernorTim Walz has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Conservation Officer Barron was an outstanding conservation officer who was admired and respected by his colleagues, and served with dignity and pride,” said Gov. Walz. 

“Even to the last moment, officer Barron gave his life in protecting the resources belonging to the people of Red Lake Nation,” the Red Lake Police Department said in a social media post. “There are 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.”

Funeral service on Thursday, July 11th all to be held at the Red Lake Humanities Building in Red Lake, Minnesota.

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