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Authorities ID Victim In Robbinsdale Murder-Suicide

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(credit: CBS) Edgar Linares
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ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) – Authorities say a 27-year-old Robbinsdale woman was shot and killed in her home Friday morning, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

Robbinsdale Police said Monday it was the result of a murder-suicide.

Authorities identified the victim as Jennifer Michelle Smith, who lived at the address where the shooting took place. Police were called to the 3900 block of Xenia Avenue at about 9:25 a.m. Friday after Smith’s five-year-old son went to a neighbor’s house to report that her mother was not moving.

Smith’s next-door neighbor, who identified herself as Michelle, said Smith’s son was hysterical.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

“He was screaming inside the house right after the shots. He said ‘I don’t want my mom to be dead, I don’t want my mom to be dead. Will you please come and see if she’s dead?’ So I went over there,” she said.

Michelle says when she entered the home it was a “gruesome” scene. She could see that the shooter, identified by police as 73-year-old Ronald Harry West of Brooklyn Park, was still moving. She then called 911.

The medical examiner’s office said Smith died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police said it appeared that West also died of a gunshot wound. Police say he shot Smith multiple times before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities said the two had known each other for more than 12 years, but the nature of their relationship was not clear.

Michelle says that West was someone Smith had known her whole life, and he was helping her out with an estranged boyfriend who had been bothering Smith.

“(West) was supposedly supposed to be over here to protect her if this guy ever came,” said Michelle.

People living on Xenia Avenue are still shaken up over the shooting. On the front door of Smith’s home is a sign from Hennepin County investigators, reading “Keep Out”.

Bev Gale lives a few houses down from Smith’s home.

“We’ve lived in this neighborhood for 38 years and we’re very sad to see these kinds of things happen here,” said Gale.

Smith had three children, two of which lived at the Robbinsdale home with her.

Police are still investigating what led up to the murder-suicide.

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