By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV and Bruce Hagevik, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tragedy has gripped the close-knit communities of Perham and Amor in Otter Tail County.

A 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy have both died as a result of a shooting. Police say it appears to be a murder-suicide, with one of the teens suffering a self-inflicted gun shot.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call about shots fired at 30811 Twin Lake Road around 9:07 p.m. When they arrived, they found the two teens with gunshot wounds.

The boy has been identified by Sanford Medical Center in Fargo as Dylan Cox. The girl, Tabitha Belmonte, was a sophomore at Perham-Dent High School.

Belmonte was pronounced dead at the scene and Cox was airlifted to Sanford Hospital, where he later died.

The Sheriff’s Office said that the incident is under investigation with help from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

As a safety precaution, the Perham School District placed the schools on lockdown, so they could monitor who was coming in and out of the building. They had counselors at the school, as well.

Perham-Dent School District Superintendent Tamara Uselman says the middle school also received a threatening prank voicemail that police say was unrelated. Normally, that sort of call would send the school into lockdown, according to Uselman, but the school was already in lockdown.

Uselman says the school will keep counselors on hand through the week. She says Cox used to be a student at Perham High School, but had enrolled in another area school.

Those who knew Belmonte describe her as kind and determined, keeping up her grades as a teenage mother and even devoted herself as a member of the school speech team.

Belmonte’s family released this statement Tuesday:

“We are in shock and disbelief about this tragic event, which we do not understand. We thank you all for your sympathy and prayers, but request that the privacy of both families be respected as we grieve. Please pray for the souls of both children involved as well as baby Emma who has sadly been left behind!”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

Comments (31)
  1. paab says:

    I’m sorry for the families hope the boy makes it. Can’t imagine losing a child.


      I read the first story. The original story indicated the boy was in critical condition. The updated story said he died. Look at the times of the posts and the story before you start criticizing people.

  2. Antonio St.Marie says:

    OMG!! i Worked with the the 16 year old girl she was always in a good mood and i cant beleive she is gone!!

    She was waiting to get picked up from work and she came to talk to me before she left i told her to be safe and tell her little girl i say hi!

    i cat beleive this has happened!!

  3. paab says:

    Hi Lisa the original story had no details of the shooting just that the girl had died and the boy was critical. This is a terrible crime neither family is ever going to be the same.

  4. To Justin says:

    It’s not about “announcing to everyone how good you are” when someone says they’re praying for the families, it’s about letting the families know that they are in their thoughts and prayers. There ARE people who take comfort in that. Let them have that comfort – and ignore it if it bothers you personally.

  5. Jeepneasy says:

    Why? Really! Why would anybody conclude that allowing comments on a murder suicide be appropriate? CBS, you should be ashamed. Please do no more dishonor to the deceased and their family.


    I really hope the families can get through this WITHOUT reading any of the rude comments that wcco allows to be posted. If you dont care about the hurt families DONT comment. NO ONE needs to read the hurtful words. just send the families good thoughts,vibes and prayers. or go away. There is a baby who has been left behind and did you ever think about the fact that when she is older she will be able to look this up and read the things said about her parents. it’s going to be a hard enough life for her without her parents and knowing what happened. She is not going to need to read such hurtful things. Just pray for her. and the families n friends . and please,,,, THINK B4 YOU TYPE SUCH HURTFUL WORDS. MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.

  7. pmil says:

    WCCO you have so many stories we can’t comment on. This should be one of them.

  8. Brewster says:

    You don’t have to get all bent out of shape!

  9. mark from says:

    @Justin When people grieve, let them do it their way. Who are we to tell them otherwise

  10. MJ says:

    It’s sad that, Justin. Please do not use this personal tragedy to further your own religious or personal beliefs. If you don’t agree, that is your right and opinion, but have the respect to keep it to yourself. There are those of us out there that are grieving and take comfort in knowing people are praying for and thinking of us.

  11. Marilyn McCormick says:

    It’s shocking that there could be so much controversy over 2 teenagers death and prayers for their families. Having lost a child myself, I know how much it means for anyone to express kindness, sorrow or compassion in any way. Say a prayer, write a poem, make a call, send flowers—-to grieving parents it’s all a soothing balm that helps to ease the pain of grief. Someday it could be you in pain and if I hear about it, I will say a prayer for you.

  12. Mel says:

    May God help these families work through this horrible event that has changed their lives forever. Oh man, I can’t imagine the pain they must be feeling.

  13. Disturbing says:

    Yeah. I read comments on a variety of stories everyday, and I’m tired of the low-brow meanspirited comments. WCCO needs to eliminate these comment sections and just let people read the news. The coments have turned their news site into a web forum, and lowered the quality of the site in general.

    That said, this is very tragic news. Just a few months ago there was a similar story out of Lakeland, MN. I think the ages of that couple were 14 and 15. The boy had shot the girl and then himself. The bodies were found in the woods by a neighbor who was hiking. These stories are very peculiar and disturbing.

  14. Justin says:

    I do apologize for my remarks about how I thought it was self serving to say “prayers to the family”. You’re right, It didn’t need to be brought up on this site. I was just offering a point of view on the subject of those remarks that are frequently made carelessly. I was not trying to offend the families in any way.

  15. JamieinMN says:

    This is extremely tragic. What can be so utterly bad in your life, at 16-17 years old, that it drives you to suicide?!?!?!

  16. JB says:

    Suicide, more often than not, is precipitated by some kind of mental illness, usually depression. I don’t know the teens involved so I can’t say this was the case, but it wouldn’t be farfetched. It’s a sad, tragic reminder that depression is a real illness with real consequences. You can have the best life imaginable and still be prone to it. My heart goes out to these teens, their families and friends, and especially the little one. They may never know the real reasons for this tragedy.

  17. yogi bear says:

    How do anyone know if the girl wanted to end her life???? Could have been the boys idea, and she was murder, just a thought, was a note left behind?

    1. nyob says:

      That’s exactly whats wrong with this ‘article’ its all emotional fluff and no news. They can’t tell us who they think shot whom, thus making reading this a waste of my time.

  18. Bob says:

    Stay close to your kids. Love them. Watch out who they are hanging with. This can happen to you.

    1. Joe says:

      Reports are that he was a Satanist.

      1. ReDoc says:

        It looks like the boy’s picture was taken at church, possibly confirmation? Just from the candles in the background. I could be wrong.

        Such a tragic event. I would never go back to that age. I suffered depression most of my life. Someone who has never had the disease will never understand. My heart goes out to the families.

  19. Pete says:

    Clearly, it seems this kind of thing happens too much. I didn’t know these kids. Nor have I ever dealt with a situation like this. But it makes me sad evertime. Good luck to that baby…

  20. DD says:

    My hearts goes out to both the family and friends. My daughter went thru loosing her best friend a few months ago the same way. Murder/suicide at Festival foods in Brooklyn Park. I hate reading about things like this, it’s so sensless.

  21. RW says:

    Emma, who was sadly left behind???? Thank goodness she was left behind.

  22. Rob Allen says:

    I hope the authorities will please report any prescription drug history of the shooter.

  23. Annoyed at Ignorance says:

    really how lame. Come on. How rude can you get Joe? Honestly because in the area of law I have not seen 75% of these cases be due to that, don’t make up statistics that people can honestly look up in less than 15 min and find out your just an extremist making a lame comment, allow people to grieve and think before you write.

  24. Nick says:

    It was prabably Joe and his fundimentalist Christian buddies! Sorry Christians just had to make a point. This could be your kid so don’t make an ass out of yourself on a public forum.

  25. 2muchdrama says:

    Teenagers that have boyfriends or girlfriends during high school usually end up with lower grades and dont make much of their otherwise promising future. We have forbidden our teens from dating during high school as they had big dips in GPAs during relationships.

    1. Victoria Meyer says:

      You really are ignorant ! You may forbid dating , but I guaranty you that your perfect little angels are doing whatever they want behind your back and there is not a single thing you can do about !
      I have a family member who was on that same high horse until they found out that their daughter was having sex at school and their son who was even younger was smoking weed and drinking in their garage after they left for work. My mom and I had an open relationship(I pretty much had no boundaries) , my fiancee came to live at my house in my room when I was 17 and still in school . Here it is 10 years later and we are still together happily with two children and a huge wedding on the way !!!! On top of that I never dabbled in drugs, did well in school and work . I owe it all to my mom for letting me be me . It is people like you who are blind and restrictive who’s children end up a mess by the time they are 30!

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