ST. ANTHONY, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Anthony Police say a school bus driver, beloved by her students, was the victim of murder suicide Monday night.
Police were called around 8:30 p.m. to a duplex on the 3200 block of 39th Avenue NE after reports of shots fired.
Officers said a 52-year-old man shot both his 46-year-old wife and her 25-year-old son before turning the gun on himself.
Family and friends identified the couple as Sam and Lora Wright.
The husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene, in the driveway. Police said the 25-year-old son was shot in the leg and was found in a nearby driveway.
“I knew her personally, I knew her family, I knew her kids. I couldn’t have asked for a better employee,” said Seak-Kee Chew, Lora Wright’s supervisor at Sunburst Transit.
Chew said hours before her death, Wright confided in him about an abusive relationship with her husband. She told Chew she may need a restraining order against her husband after he took away her bus key to keep her from work Monday.
Chew said the company dropped off another key, Wright finished her route, and told him she would go home and talk to her husband. A few hours later, she was on the phone with another driver, who heard screaming and gunshots. No one knew yesterday, she parked her bus outside her home for the last time.
“Lora was the type of person, when it was dark outside, and she smiled, it would light up the sky. She was so beautiful inside and out,” said longtime family friend William Porter, of Fridley, who says he considered Sam Wright a father figure and mentor.
“Sam was the type of person, if he sees you on the side of the road, he would pull over and help you, he would give you the shirt off his back, he would get out of his bed and help people. He wasn’t a selfish type of person, he was a free-hearted type of person,” said Porter.
Porter says Sam sounded worried and agitated on the phone yesterday, and later, he was more mystified by Sam’s Facebook updates. Three times he posted his wife’s name. Nothing more.
“The only thing I know is they were beautiful people and this was way out of the ordinary, this is not him,” said Porter.
Police said a total of six people lived at the home other than the three involved in the shooting. Those include their other children, a 16-year-old girl, a 19-year-old man and a 23-year-old man.
Police Chief John Ohl said his department had visited the home twice for verbal domestic calls, once in 2012, another time in 2011.
Seak-Kee Chew says his company plans to open a fund for the family. Loved ones also say they are planning a vigil outside the home Saturday at noon.