MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate Tuesday’s shooting in Shoreview that left two dead and two injured.

Authorities believe Johnny Simpson shot and killed his girlfriend, Nancy Sullivan, as she was trying to move out of the house they shared. A moving van was outside the home when the shooting happened, apparently ready to take Sullivan’s belongings away.

Also shot were Sullivan’s daughter, Katie Fay, and her boyfriend, Tony Brown. The couple live in St. Paul with their 4-year-old daughter.

Counselors were on hand Wednesday at the downtown Minneapolis law firm of Barnes and Thornburg, where Sullivan worked as an attorney. She is remembered as a devoted friend, a mother and a grandmother who volunteered hours of her time at the Minnesota Children’s Law Center.

“We are all in a state of shock,” said Tina Syring-Petrocchi, a law partner of Sullivan.

Partners at the firm say Sullivan was universally loved.

“She was a great partner, she was an even better friend. She never had a bad day coming into work,” Syring-Petrocchi said.

Citing the pending investigation, Sullivan’s law partners declined to comment on her relationship with Simpson.

Michael Green, a neighbor of Fay’s, said he often saw Sullivan and Simpson at the St. Paul home of Sullivan’s daughter. Both Sullivan and Simpson were there within the past two weeks, Green said, and nothing seemed wrong.

“Everything seemed to be fine. Looked like everyone was happy and getting along,” Green said.

Sullivan seemed to love to spend time at the home with her granddaughter — something that comes as no surprise to her law partners.

“The title that she cared most about was ‘Granny Fancy Pants,’” Syring-Petrocchi said. “She was such a devoted mom and grandmother, and her two children and two grandchildren just meant the world to her.”

Fay, Sullivan’s daughter, remains in critical condition at Regions Hospital. We have no information on Brown’s condition.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting.

Esme Murphy


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