MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a couple gunned down inside their Eagan home is hoping to make life easier for the three children they left behind.
Charles and Svetlana Hanson were shot through their living room window in August. The gunman, 29-year-old Robin Bhattacharyya, then turned the gun on himself in their back yard.
The Hanson children were inside when the shootings happened. Charles’ son and daughter, 11-year-old Ingrid and 9-year-old Thorin from a previous marriage and the baby he had with Svetlana 11-month-old Bjorn were not hurt.
Family and friends are now working together to help the children and prevent future violence.
“When you get them out doing kids things, they’re almost normal but when you look at them, you can tell they’re always thinking about it,” said Hal Brown, who is the uncle of Ingrid and Thorin.
He said the children are doing as well as can be expected.
“They’re going to school, their schedule is pretty much the same. They’ve backed out of doing some extracurricular activities like scouts, they’re taking a break from that temporarily,” said Brown.
Both were inside their Eagan home, along with their little brother Bjorn, when Svetlana’s former husband shot her and Charles through their living room window.
“My nephew wanted to run and help. He wanted to see what he could help with but my niece, she’s so smart, she just knew to stay here and hide. That probably save their lives,” Brown said.
Brown said he hopes an upcoming fundraiser will ensure these children have a bright future. The event will be held Monday night at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville.
There will be face painting and carnival games for children, who get in free, while adults are asked to make a $20 donation.
“The proceeds will go to the Hanson children — Ingrid, Thorin and Bjorn — in trust and part of the proceeds will go the Eagan-based Lewis House which is a domestic violence safe house for women,” Brown said.
He said the family wanted to give back to prevent this from happening to someone else. They also wanted to let the children know help will always be there when they need it.
“I wanted them there to see that all these people, who I don’t even know, are willing to help and assist you. That they are not alone,” said Brown.
Brown said the two oldest children are with their mother, his sister, Marianna Hanson. The youngest child, Bjorn, is with Charles’ brother and his wife in Duluth.
For more information on the benefit scheduled for Monday, Nov. 15, click here.