ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — Police said a man and his estranged wife are dead after an apparent murder-suicide.

Officers said it started Monday night when the woman was shot to death in a parking lot along Highway 100 and Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park. She has been identified as 51-year-old Stephanie Maxam. The man’s identity has not been released.

Police said witnesses heard Maxam and her estranged husband arguing in the parking lot around 8 p.m. when the man opened fire.

“(We) arrived to find an adult female dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Apparently a witness did hear gunshots and then saw that the victim was in the parking lot,” said St. Louis Park Spokesman Jamie Zwilling. “We began a search immediately for her estranged husband.”

The man was found a short time later lying near a curb in Minneapolis. He was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Officers recovered what appears to be a shotgun at the scene, at 37th Street Northeast and Hiawatha in Minneapolis. But police aren’t saying if it was the weapon used to kill the woman.

Officers said they also found an envelope with a handwritten note inside. It wasn’t released what the note said.

Police say it is fortunate that bystanders were not hit and no one else was injured.

“It’s a scary thing because we are in the parking lot a lot and sometimes we do leave around 8 at night,” said Nichole Knutson.

On Monday night, however, Knutson left the Parkdale Plaza before 8 p.m. When she came back Tuesday morning, she heard that a man had shot and killed a woman and drove away.

According to court records, Maxam and her husband went through a divorce in 2006.

The story hits home at the Harriet Tubman Center, which offers assistance for victims of domestic violence. Experts say they hope tragedies like this are a reminder that one-in-four women is a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.

“Domestic violence reports are up, fatalities are actually down. One could look at that and say absolutely, all of the prevention messages on how to get help and how to give help are being heard,” said Jen Polzin, of the Tubman Center.

Harriet Tubman is in the process of locating one of their centers to a former monastery in Maplewood. In January, there will be beds for 64 victims of domestic violence and their families.

Comments (27)
  1. Nicholas says:

    Suicide is the answer for these sick people that take others with them. Just kill yourself. The world would be a better place without you.

    1. Rude says:

      This is not your place to make a comment like this. i am a friend with the 4 children of this family. They now have no mom or dad.

      1. Marie says:

        I love reading this.It pops up on my Facebook nocasicoally and it just makes my day to see what the Wingo family is learning, doing, living. Love your random posts.Hope you’re doing well. I miss all you guys!Alyssa

  2. Seeing Things Right Up North says:

    Then Hank,men need to pull themselves together and be a men. If you men are having troubles, stop blaming it on women. It said “estranged.” That probably tells you that she got out of the marriage because he was abusive and going off the deep end.
    Stop blaming someone else for your own problems!
    Man UP!

  3. Robin Matthews says:

    I have to agree with that statement! Leave the other person alone!!

  4. Nancy Aleshire says:

    The real victims here are the children who have to grow up without a mom and dad. The story does not say if this divorced couple had kids. If you have problems in a marriage, people, GET A DIVORCE!!!!. Nothing is solved by killing.

  5. Come on now! says:

    this man probably suffered from sever depression. Many times you can see warning signs of depression. If you know or see someone with mental health issues get them help. There is no need for name calling in situations like this. Family and loved ones of these two people probably read this and many other stories about this and see your ignorant comments. Think before you comment.

    1. Annoymous says:

      I totally agree with you, lets all think of the family of these 2 people. They are the ones that are suffering right now. Do not place ignorant comments where the ones that are truly suffering from this loss can read it. Let us all show some humanity in times like this.

  6. Hello! says:

    Suicide is never the answer to anything!!! This couple should have had counseling or got a divorce. The families of these to are probably in pain and confused right now. This man was probably suffering and no one was wanting to or willing to get him help.

    1. Carol says:

      Posted on Thanks Preston! I’ve been following Jetson for a few years so it means a lot for you to have taken some time to check us out. I think you’ll enjoy the on site aotofge from the knowledge base sessions we do on our job sites. Check back in a while!

    2. Dano says:

      e.l Posted on For one thing unless they’re sbhlipued you mean writers’.Only you can decide when, as it needs to fit round you and your members’ schedules.

  7. Gloria says:

    I wish the writer of this article would have used proper sentence structure toward the end: “It wasn’t released what the note said.” How about: The contents of the note were not released.”

    I wish more “journalists” would learn how to write.

    This story is a tragedy. (I don’t mean to take away from that…)

  8. linedog says:

    I like a woman who knows proper English. Gloria, marry me?

    1. Gloria says:

      I’m a Tranny..A Shemale..but yeah, OKAY!

  9. READ says:

    I know this family. please, stop with these comments of ‘just kill yourself not the woman.” they had four kids, 2 are in high school i go to school with one of the kids. they were divorced. our high school had a prayer service for the family today and i would appreciate it if you would respect their family.

    1. Saddened says:

      Prayers for this family and those who knew her. I work for U.S. Bank and I am also praying for her team and friends there. Such a tragedy.

  10. Catherine says:

    My heart and prayers go out to the family, friends, loved ones of those involved. This is a tragic incident that shows how troubled the world is. Blaming. criticizing, mocking, swearing, judging etc. does nothing to help the problem. Exploring ways to improve relationships, society, shame, mental illness, connection, compassion, and peace would be ways to respond to this and other tragic occurrences that would at least make a positive step toward the betterment of mankind. Let’s learn from this and try to prevent the increase of tragedy in the future.

    1. linedog says:

      Catherine, so eloquently stated. Thank you.

  11. Becky says:


  12. JM says:

    This is not a joke. I go to school with the two kids an guess what? They lost their mother and father because of this situation. Lets not point fingers at who is wrong. Instead lets keep the family and friends of these loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

    1. Becky says:

      I agree & am a parent of kids that go & have gone to your school We are praying for everyone involved. God bless you.

    2. Isabelle says:

      Thank you, JM, Stephanie was my aunt, and i’m thankful that everyone cars so much for them. i found out about this last night and i’m glad you’re there for my cousins when i can’t be.

    3. Isabelle says:

      Thank you, JM, Stephanie was my aunt, and i’m thankful that everyone cares so much for them. i found out about this last night and i’m glad you’re there for my cousins when i can’t be.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My child attends the school where the two younger surviving siblings are enrolled. Please pray for them as well as the two older ones. What a load they must now carry. Please pray that the love of our Lord embraces them, calms their hearts and strengthens their will to carry on.

  14. Joe says:

    I am good friends with one of the 4 kids and it is not proper for people to being saying that their dad should have gone and killed himself. No one should have died period. Please have a little respect for the 4 children and the rest of the family as they grieve. It is not your place to judge. I would ask WCCO to remove inappropriate comments left on this article. To the family stay strong, I love you all.

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