MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Conservation Officer Shannon “Opie” Barron died late Sunday night after suffering a medical emergency on the job, according to the Red Lake Police Department. He was 48.

Authorities say Officer Barron was responding to an incident north of Red Lake off Highway 89 involving suspected illegal harvesting. After officers cleared the call, Barron requested EMS because he was not feeling well. Officers on scene performed life-saving measures until he was taken to the hospital.

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Shannon “Opie” Barron (credit: Red Lake Police Department)

“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.”

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Barron is survived by his wife, two children, his aunt who raised him and numerous relatives.

“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,” the Red Lake Police Department said. “In addition, he was also gravely concerned about his younger fellow officers when it came to officer safety and was always one of the first to point out his officer safety concerns and often offered advice on how they could improve their response in protecting themselves and/or handling a situation.”

Barron started working as a conservation officer for the Red Lake Department of Public Safety in March 2000. He graduated from the U.S. Indian Police Academy in Artesia, New Mexico.

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Funeral services will be announced at a later date.